CINCINNATI — Zack Greinke had never lost at Great American Ball Park. Todd Frazier wasn’t going to give him time to settle in on the mound again.
Frazier swung at the first pitch he got from Greinke and hit a two-run homer on Thursday afternoon, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and a split of their four-game series.
The Reds won the last two games to finish a 5-5 homestand that left them stuck closer to the bottom of the NL Central than the top.
Alfredo Simon (9-3) gave up seven singles in eight innings, joining the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright as the NL’s nine-game winners.
Greinke (8-3) had been 4-0 in five games at Great American. A slow start cost him his perfect mark. Skip Schumaker opened the Reds’ first with a single, and Frazier followed with his team-high 14th homer on Greinke’s fifth pitch of the game. Joey Votto doubled on the next pitch as well.
“I was just trying to electrify us and get us going,” said Frazier, who has five homers in his last 11 games. “First pitch, I was ready to attack. It was good to get the lead for Alfredo.”
Greinke gave the third baseman credit for hitting a pitch that ended up where it was intended.
“It wasn’t necessarily any worse pitches than the rest of the game, just that Frazier’s hot,” Greinke said. “A first-pitch slider at the bottom of the zone, you take your chances. But he’s a strong guy and got a homer out of it.”
Cincinnati would get only one more hit off Greinke, who went six innings before leaving for a pinch-hitter.
The Reds added a pair of runs in the eighth, when Zack Cozart doubled and scored on Brandon League’s wild pitch. Ryan Ludwick had an RBI single.
NOTES: The Dodgers start a six-game homestand on Friday against Arizona. LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-2) faces Chase Anderson (5-0). … The Reds play their next six games in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Homer Bailey (7-3) faces Matt Garza (4-4) on Friday. … LA is 39-22 against the Reds since the start of the 2006 season. …. The Dodgers won a challenge in the first inning, when Brandon Phillips initially was called safe at first base. The replay showed he was out. … SS Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with a sore throwing shoulder. He got an injection after Wednesday’s game. … Phillips left in the eighth inning with a sore right index finger, hurt on a defensive play earlier in the game. … Cozart extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Red Sox 5, Indians 2
BOSTON — Jon Lester worked into the eighth inning and David Ortiz hit a two-run homer to lead the struggling Boston Red Sox to a win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
Brock Holt hit a two-run double and Daniel Nava had three hits as the Red Sox won for just the third time in their last 10 games, a dismal stretch that began with a three-game sweep by the Indians last week.
Coming off his shortest start of the season, Lester (7-7) allowed two runs — one earned — on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings.
Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.
Ortiz hit his 15th homer — a shot to straightaway center — in the fifth against Josh Tomlin (4-3) to make it 3-0.
Lester faced one batter over the minimum through four innings and allowed just three singles through five, but let Michael Bourn reach safely to start the sixth when he dropped Mike Napoli’s throw to first.
After a double by Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis cut the deficit to 3-2 with a sharp single that scooted underneath second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Holt’s double in the bottom half restored the three-run cushion.
Boston took the lead in the second on Grady Sizemore’s RBI double.
Tomlin allowed four runs — three earned — on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking two.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game for former Red Sox manager Don Zimmer, who died June 4. . Cleveland 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, a left-handed batter, was not in the lineup despite hitting .393 with seven homers and 32 RBIs in 53 games this season. . Boston RHP Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day DL due to a hyperextended right knee, is slated to throw five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. . Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks, on the DL with a fractured right index finger, also is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Friday. . Lester threw eight pitches in the first inning, all for strikes.