Series: Game 1 of 3

Cincinnati leads 1-0 (as of 7/30)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 30
Los Angeles 4Final
Cincinnati 12
Game 2: Wednesday, July 31
Los Angeles 11Final
Cincinnati 5
Game 3: Thursday, August 1
Los Angeles 4Final
in 13
Cincinnati 6

Dodgers 4

(59-47, 30-23 away)

Reds 12

(55-50, 26-26 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 30, 2002

    Cinergy Field, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 000030100 4 - -
    CIN 21520101 - 12 - -

    W: R. Dempster (6-11)

    L: K. Ishii (12-7)

    Ishii hit hard; Dempster gets first win with Reds

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are fading right along with their first-half star.

    Kazuhisa Ishii
    Starting Pitcher
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    GM W L Sv K ERA
    21 12 7 0 117 3.87

    Kazuhisa Ishii was badly out of sync as he failed to make it out of the third inning Tuesday night, and the Dodgers had three errors and a run-scoring passed ball that helped the Cincinnati Reds pull away to a 12-4 victory.

    Ishii (12-7) gave up a season-high eight runs in 2 2/3 innings -- his shortest outing in 21 starts since arriving as a free agent from Japan. The left-hander walked six of the 20 batters he faced, and gave up homers to Jason LaRue and Aaron Boone as the Reds pulled ahead 8-0.

    As soon as he walked Barry Larkin to open the Reds' first inning, it was apparent Ishii was off. He wound up walking Larkin three times in three innings.

    ``The tone was not good at all,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ``Kaz did not pitch good tonight, right from the start. With all of the walks and constantly getting behind in the count, it just continuously rolled over and over.''

    Ishii showed little emotion as the runs piled up. When Tracy finally hopped from the dugout to replace him, Ishii tucked his glove under his left arm, wiped his face and forcefully rubbed the ball a few times before handing it over.

    ``It was just one of those things today,'' catcher Paul Lo Duca said. ``He struggled early with the strike zone, and they were swinging the bats well. It wasn't one particular pitch, just one of those nights.''

    Up 10-0 after four innings, the Reds squirmed as Ryan Dempster (6-11) lapsed into bad habits before getting his first victory for Cincinnati.

    The right-hander had gone 0-3 with a 12.00 ERA in three starts since he came from Florida in a July 11 trade. The Reds moved him back in the rotation after his last start, giving him a chance to try to fix his problems during bullpen workouts.

    ``He has a ways to go, but I was pleased,'' manager Bob Boone said, while trying to fish a broken cork out of his postgame bottle of Merlot. ``He made some adjustments and threw strikes and kept the ball down. I think he's even better than that.''

    Dempster gave up nine hits and four runs in seven innings, escaping further trouble with the help of several nice defensive plays.

    ``It's huge,'' Dempster said. ``It felt like forever since I'd won a game.''

    The Reds hit four homers in all -- Brandon Larson and Adam Dunn connected off the Dodgers' bullpen -- as they scored 12 runs for only the third time this season.

    The Dodgers led the NL West by 2½ games at the All-Star break, but have gone into a 5-13 nosedive that has dropped them into a second-place tie with San Francisco, five games behind Arizona. The slide has coincided with Ishii's swoon.

    Ishii, who pitched for 10 years in Japan, won his first six starts for the Dodgers and was 10-1 on June 8. Since then, he's gone 2-6 in nine starts with a 4.96 ERA.

    By most measures, this one was his worst. He threw only 35 strikes out of 72 pitches.

    ``I hope I can figure out what's wrong and try to correct it by the next start,'' Ishii said through a translator. ``Getting that first strike is very important, and I want to make a conscious effort to get first strikes in my next start.''

    Ken Griffey Jr. had a two-run single in the first and LaRue led off the second with his sixth homer. Ishii didn't make it out of a slapstick third, when the Reds scored five runs with the help of three walks, a passed ball and an error.

    Todd Walker had an RBI single and LaRue walked. After Dempster's sacrifice, Walker scored on Lo Duca's passed ball. The catcher compounded his mistake by lobbing the ball over Ishii's head as he covered home on the play, allowing LaRue to score as well. Boone's two-run homer ended Ishii's outing.

    Larson hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Victor Alvarez, making his major league debut. Dunn led off the sixth with his 22nd homer off Giovanni Carrara.

    Right-hander Paul Shuey, obtained from Cleveland in a trade Sunday, started the eighth, gave up Austin Kearns' RBI double, and left with the bases loaded and two outs. Closer Eric Gagne struck out LaRue to end the inning.

    Game notes

    RHP Kevin Brown threw 90 pitches in the bullpen at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday without problem. Brown will throw in the bullpen again Thursday, then start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas. Brown, 37, had surgery on a disc in his lower back. ... RHP Darren Dreifort had arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage from his right knee. ... Dempster has given up 20 runs in 19 innings with the Reds. ... The Reds' season high is 14 runs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press