The Cincinnati Reds have not played their best on the west coast over the years. Momentum dies there. Losing streaks begin.
Whether it’s the time difference, the quality of the opponents or the distractions of beaches and mountains and beautiful cities, the list of road trips to forget is a long one. For example, three months before they won the World Series in 1990, the Reds went 2-9 on a trip to Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
That history is one reason the Reds’ four-game sweep of the Dodgers over the weekend in Los Angeles was so surprising. The bigger reason is this is a team that won only three games in the first three weeks of the season.
» SPORTS TODAY: More on Reds’ sweep of Dodgers
At 14-27, the Reds still had the worst record in the National League through Sunday — a half game worse than the Miami Marlins (14-26) — but they have increased their chances of not being the worst team in franchise history. Jim Riggleman is now 11-12 as the interim manager after Bryan Price was fired with a 3-15 mark.
Here are six things to know about the six-game winning streak:
1. Rare feat: The Red won six games in a row for the first time since May 2013. The Reds swept three games from the Milwaukee Brewers and then three from the Marlins that season. That was the last Reds team to reach the postseason.
Since that 2013 streak, the Reds had lost six games in a row or more 14 times. That number includes a five-game losing streak to end the 2013 season and the loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the wild-card game.
2. Reversing history: The Reds won their first series against the Dodgers since 2013. They won their first series at Dodger Stadium since 2011. They swept four games at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1975.
3. Interesting timing: The Reds are 6-0 since they traded catcher Devin Mesoraco to the New York Mets for pitcher Matt Harvey on Wednesday. Harvey made his Reds debut Friday and threw four scoreless innings against the Dodgers. Mesoraco went 1-for-13 with a home run in his first four games with the Mets.
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4. Slumping opponents: The Reds won two of three games against the Mets, who entered that series having lost six in a row. With four losses to the Reds, the Dodgers have lost seven of their last eight games.
5. Strong pitching: The Reds no longer have the worst ERA in baseball. They rank 25th out of 30 teams with 4.71 ERA.
Last week, Reds relievers had a 0.95 ERA. Closer Raisel Iglesias has seven saves in eight opportunities and a 1.37 ERA.
The starters have been strong, too. Luis Castillo has allowed four earned runs in 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts, picking up two victories during the streak and lowering his season ERA from 7.01 to 6.02.
Homer Bailey earned his first victory of the season Saturday, allowing three earned runs in five innings. The Reds lost the first eight times he started.
6. Hot bats: Scooter Gennett started four of the six games and raised his average to a team-best .329 by going 11-for-18. He’s hitting .438 in May.
Other players on a roll during this streak include:
• Eugenio Suarez had seven RBIs in the six games. He’s tied for eighth in the National League with 28 RBIs despite missing 16 games in April with a broken thumb.
• Joey Votto hit safety in five of the last six games in the streak, raising his average to .288.