LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zack Greinke lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.58 with seven sharp innings and drove in the go-ahead run with his second homer of the season, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Greinke (13-2) allowed a run on six hits, struck out eight and walked one. The right-hander is 8-0 with a 1.16 ERA over his last 11 starts.
Joc Pederson and Greinke hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Kenley Jansen got four outs for his 24th save in 25 chances and 130th of his career, just hours after becoming a father for the second time.
Kaden Isaiah Jansen checked in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 19.5 inches at 9:58 a.m. local time, giving dad enough time to get to the ballpark and overtake Jeff Shaw for second place on the Dodgers’ all-time saves list behind Eric Gagne (161).
Reds rookie Anthony DeSclafani (7-8) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings and struck out six. The 25-year-old right-hander was 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his previous eight road starts following back-to-back losses in Atlanta and Pittsburgh on May 1 and 7. He won his big league debut with the Marlins on May 14, 2014, a 13-3 win at Dodger Stadium.
DeSclafani matched zeros with Greinke through four innings before the Reds scratched out a run on Billy Hamilton’s sacrifice fly. Marlon Byrd led off the fifth with a single, and Tucker Barnhart followed with a sinking line drive to right field that got past a diving Yasiel Puig for a double.
But the NL West-leading Dodgers responded in the bottom half with their fourth set of back-to-back homers this season. Greinke’s drive to left-center landed in almost the exact same spot that Pederson’s 23rd did one pitch earlier.
The Dodgers lead the NL with 146 home runs, 12 more than they had all of last season with 44 games still remaining.
On Aug. 6, Greinke took David Buchanan deep in a 10-8 victory at Philadelphia — the same night that he surrendered a season-high six runs. Sunday’s homer was the sixth of Greinke’s 12-year career, the first seven seasons of which were spent in the AL with Kansas City.
Greinke is one of only three pitchers in history with a Cy Young Award (2009), a Silver Slugger (2013) and a Gold Glove (2014) on his resume. The others are former Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser.
The right-hander is trying to become the first pitcher in franchise history to record five consecutive months with an ERA under 2.00 during the same season. The others with four straight are Sandy Koufax (1966), Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Larry Cheney (1916).
Greinke is 45-14 with a 2.34 ERA in 84 starts since signing with the Dodgers as a free agent in December 2012.
The Dodgers are 113-54 in 167 combined starts by Greinke and Kershaw during their three seasons as teammates. The rest of the time, the club has gone 140-135.
Reds: RHP Raisel Iglesias (3-4) will face Kansas City on Tuesday night in the opener of a 10-game homestand, which includes a makeup contest against Detroit that was rescheduled from a June 18 rainout. Iglesias is coming off his first big league road victory, a 7-3 decision against San Diego.
Dodgers: Kershaw (10-6) takes the ball Tuesday night at Oakland in the opener of an eight-game road trip. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner is 5-0 with an 0.82 ERA over his last seven starts, which came after losing three straight outings for the first time in his career. He has given up just one home run in 55 innings during this stretch — the one Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco hit on Kershaw’s first pitch of the game on Aug. 7 to end his 37-inning scoreless streak.