CINCINNATI — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t breathe a sigh of relief. He could have.
Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner drove in three runs each, and Los Angeles beat Cincinnati 8-1 Wednesday to avoid a season sweep by the last-place Reds.
Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers, and Grandal had three hits.
"We can beat them," Roberts said.
"When we played them in L.A., they were on a hot streak," said Grandal, Cincinnati’s 2010 top amateur draft pick. "It didn’t really matter how we played. We were trying to figure out what to do with our guys. We had a lot of guys hurt. It seems like they played us hard all year."
Los Angeles began the day 1 1/2 games behind NL West-leading Colorado and pulled within two games of St. Louis for the second NL wild card after the Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh 4-3. The Dodgers open a four-game series in St. Louis on Thursday.
"That’s a big series for us," said Grandal, who finished with three hits. "There’s a chance to make some moves in this series."
The Dodgers had been 0-6 against the Reds and were on the verge of being swept by Cincinnati in a season for the first time.
"It’s more important that we got a win," Roberts said. "Those guys have been making noise all year. Managing to get a win considering where we were at is a good thing."
Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett went 1 for 4, keeping his league-leading batting average at .321.
"We didn’t really worry about sweeping the Dodgers," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "We just wanted to win the game at hand."
Left-hander Caleb Ferguson (6-2), the third of seven Dodgers pitchers, struck out three in the fifth.
Anthony DeSclafani (7-5) retired the first nine Los Angeles batters before allowing six runs – five earned – five hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. He failed to last five innings for the third straight start.
"I was rolling," the right-hander said. "I felt good. It seemed like whenever somebody gets on, I can’t put a stop to it. It’s frustrating. I just have to figure out how to execute pitches. I don’t care how many times you go through the batting order, if you execute your pitches, you’ll get your outs."
Jose Peraza homered in the first, but Pederson tied it 1-1 with a leadoff drive in the fourth, his second two games and 21st this season.
"Joc’s homer gave us kind of an exhale," Roberts said. "I’ve been talking about J.T.’s at bats every night. Yasmani had some good at bats."
Grandal hit a go-ahead double later in the inning, a ball caught by a young fan with a glove reaching over the wall with the ball still in play. Max Muncy scored from first and Reds manager Jim Riggleman argued unsuccessfully he should have been stopped at third, but the umpires’ decision was upheld in a video review.
Turner hit a two-run single in a four-run fifth.
Pederson homered in back-to-back appearances for the fourth time this year, pushing the Dodgers’ streak of consecutive games with at least one home run to 20. That is the most for the team since the move to Los Angeles and four shy of the franchise record set by Brooklyn in 1953.
Reds RHP Jesus Reyes, recalled by Cincinnati on Tuesday, pitched a scoreless eighth inning. In two career appearances, both this season, he’s thrown three hitless innings.
Grandal had three hits for the sixth time this season and first since July 24 at Philadelphia.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-5) is to make his first start of the season against St. Louis on Thursday. He is 6-5 with a 2.99 ERA in 16 starts against the Cardinals.
Reds: RHP Matt Harvey (7-8) limited the Cubs to one run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 10-inning Cincinnati loss on Aug. 24.