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Cincinnati Reds Exorcise Chavez Ravine Demons: Votto Bolsters MVP Claim

HOUSTON - JULY 24:  Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds second base after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 24, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIAugust 23, 2010

For anyone who doesn’t think the Cincinnati Reds are for real, this article is for you.

They have just exorcised a demon that has tormented their souls since July 28, 2005. That was the last time the Reds won a game in Chavez Ravine, aka Dodger Stadium. Coincidentally, it was their second win in a row during that four game set.

The Reds used two Jason LaRue home runs and seven strong innings by Brandon Claussen to crush the Dodgers 6-1.

Winning that game and splitting the series, the Reds brought their record up to 13 games below .500 at Dodger Stadium.

You have to go all the way back to May of 2004 to find a Reds series win at the Ravine.

My, how things have changed.

You see, the Reds weren’t getting beat, they were getting outscored 2-1. In those 12 losses the Reds scored only 39 runs while allowing the Bums to score 78.

On Friday night, Homer Bailey tamed the demon with a four-hit outing in seven strong innings. The Reds used eight singles—three by Brandon Phillips—to whip the Dodgers 3-1. Phillips also drove in all three runs.

Yes, the joy was short lived as the Dodgers came back and launched four bombs in route to an 8-5 pasting.

In the rubber match on Sunday, war horse Bronson Arroyo pitched seven strong innings, allowing seven hits and only two runs while raising his record to 14-7. He is now tied for third with Chris Carpenter for wins in the National League.

Phillips continued his hot hitting with a 4-5 outing, scoring the Reds first run.

Joey Votto knocked in all three runs, ruining a very good outing by Clayton Kershaw by lofting an opposite field solo shot in the sixth inning. Votto is batting .350 with a home run and seven RBI on the current road trip.

Kershaw struck out 11 men in his seven innings of work, which was marred with five free passes.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 9-0 to remain 3.5 games behind Cincinnati.

The Reds begin a three game series with the Giants Monday night, with Edinson Volquez facing Matt Cain. The Reds will be seeking vengeance against Cain who tossed a two hit shutout against them in June at the Great American Ball Park.

The Reds won their 29th series of the season and third consecutive after being swept by the Cardinals.

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