Volquez scatters three hits over seven as Reds win easily

CINCINNATI (AP) -- When manager Dusty Baker made out the lineup card, he decided to put the Cincinnati Reds' newest hitter at the top of the order.

His thinking? Jerry Hairston Jr. must be doing something right.

Hairston had four hits in his debut as Cincinnati's leadoff hitter, and Edinson Volquez (3-0) remained unbeaten in four starts by giving up three hits and a run in seven innings, leading the Reds to an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Reds split their two-game series with a rare victory over the Dodgers, who are 11-3 against Cincinnati since 2006. Two struggling lineups took turns breaking out during the short series.

After scoring only three runs over the weekend while getting swept in Atlanta, the Dodgers piled up 15 hits in a 9-3 win on Monday night. Hairston, batting .421 in the minors, was called up before that game, and got the Reds rolling a day later.

"He had a great game," Baker said. "He was hot in Triple-A. Most times, when you're hot in one place, you'll be hot anywhere."

He quickly warmed to the top of the lineup.

Hairston singled and doubled off Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1), then singled home a pair of runs off Scott Proctor as the Reds pulled ahead 7-1 after five innings. Hairston also singled home a run in the eighth, becoming the first Reds player to get four hits in a game this season.

"It's nice just to be up here again," Hairston said. "It's good to get back to the big leagues. There's no other place to play."

Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips each added solo homers -- for Phillips, his first in 72 at-bats -- as the Reds piled up a season-high 15 hits.

The start was the longest of the season for Volquez. The Reds got the righty from Texas in the trade for Josh Hamilton last December.

The Reds have scored eight or more runs in three of his four starts.

"I got lucky," Volquez said. "It seems like every time I've pitched this year, I've gotten a lot of support."

Ken Griffey Jr. went 0-for-4, leaving him four homers shy of No. 600. Griffey hasn't homered during the first five games of the homestand, which concludes on Thursday. The Reds then head for nine games in San Francisco, St. Louis and Atlanta.

After their one-game breakout, the Dodgers were back to scoring one run a game -- their total output in four of the last five.

"We've just got to put it together and get it going," said Matt Kemp, who was 0-for-3 with a walk. "We're going to be dangerous when everybody gets on the same page. We're going through hard times right now."

The Dodgers couldn't overcome a poor start by Kuo, who gave up eight hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander hasn't made it to the fifth inning in any of his three starts.

Kuo had surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow last July and had some soreness in the elbow during spring training. He has thrown more pitches in each of his three starts, encouraging manager Joe Torre to stick with him for at least one more start.

"I thought Kuo was better," Torre said. "I think the pitching was better than the result today, so I'm anticipating that we'll go that way."

The newest member of the Reds did the most damage.

The 31-year-old Hairston signed a contract on March 3 after the Reds were reassured by Major League Baseball that he wouldn't face discipline for his mention in the Mitchell Report. Hairston was accused of buying human growth hormone from a former New York Mets clubhouse attendant.

It was Hairston's seventh four-hit game and his first since July 22, 2005.

Game notes
Slumping OF Andruw Jones was out of LA's starting lineup. Jones pinch-hit and struck out for the ninth time in his last 17 at-bats. "Andruw's fighting it a little bit," manager Joe Torre said. "He's had a little bit of a flu bug, and we've got that long flight [home] tonight. We'll get him back in the lineup." ... Reds leadoff hitter Corey Patterson was out of the starting lineup, giving him a chance to take extra batting practice. He batted in the eighth and tripled, snapping an 0-for-22 slump, the worst of his career. ... 3B Edwin Encarnacion extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, longest on the Reds this season.