The Dodgers and their fans haven't had much to complain about lately. Coming out of the All-Star break winning eight of nine games, Los Angeles has the best record in the Majors since June 22, going 25-6 on the way from last to first in the National League West.
On Sunday, the Dodgers will look to continue their winning ways against the Reds after taking two of the first three games in the series, including a 4-1 win on Saturday.
However, it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing for manager Don Mattingly's club, as he is still looking for someone to hold down the back end of the rotation. One of the guys Mattingly hopes can do the job is Sunday's starter, Chris Capuano.
The 34-year-old left-hander has been wildly inconsistent in his last six starts, holding opponents scoreless in half of those outings while allowing five earned runs in each of the other three. Most recently, Capuano gave up seven hits, including two homers, against the Blue Jays, but he was backed by an offense that exploded for 10 runs as he earned a no-decision.
"He's had good outings and he's had a few rough ones," said Mattingly of Capuano, who started the year in the bullpen. "We're trying to solidify that four and five spot in our rotation and he's one of those guys. We count on him pitching, and good."
On the other side of the mound, Tony Cingrani, who is pitching in place of the injured Johnny Cueto, has been nothing but consistent for the Reds. Despite collecting just one win in his last four starts, Cingrani hasn't allowed more than three runs since May 4 and gave up two runs on three hits in seven innings in his only loss of the season on July 9.
On Tuesday, the Giants touched Cingrani for two runs on five hits, as the 24-year-old left-hander walked three and struck out a pair in 6 2/3 innings. Cingrani threw a career-high 118 pitches against San Francisco in his fifth quality start of the season.
"I was battling myself a little bit," Cingrani said. "I couldn't get my offspeed pitches over too much, but it was enough to get through six, and then I struggled a little the seventh."
In his 12th start of the year, Cingrani will be tasked with slowing down a Dodgers offense that has outscored opponents 55-29 since the break.
Reds: Broxton throws live BP without issues
Reds manager Dusty Baker didn't want to speculate on Saturday when Jonathan Broxton might return from the disabled list, but the 29-year-old right-hander took another step toward his comeback before Saturday's game, when he threw 20 pitches in a live batting practice session at Dodger Stadium.
"He was throwing the ball good," said Baker, who added that Broxton reported no issues. "He didn't quite have the command. That's to be expected, as long as there is no pain. That means he's on the way."
Broxton has been on the DL since June 15 with a right elbow strain, and there is still no timetable for his potential return. During Saturday's BP session, Broxton faced catcher Ryan Hanigan, who has been on the disabled list himself since July 11 with a sprained left wrist and resumed hitting on Friday after a minor setback.
Dodgers: Crawford sent to ER with high fever
The Dodgers were without the services of outfielder Carl Crawford on Saturday, as he was sent to the emergency room with a high fever before Saturday's game. Despite feeling ill Friday, Crawford collected three hits, but when his body temperature rose on Saturday afternoon, the Dodgers decided to send him to the ER.
Manager Don Mattingly said he hoped to have Crawford, who is riding a seven-game hit streak in which he's gone 14-for-33 (.424) with three doubles and three RBIs, back for the series finale on Sunday.
"He's on some antibiotics and wasn't feeling great yesterday," Mattingly said. "He didn't look as good today. I was going to play him today, but he didn't look great when I saw him. So, we're going to shoot for tomorrow. I think we'll be OK with him. I think it's fairly precautionary. There's something going on with a little fever."
• With Saturday's win, the Dodgers are 17-5 (.773) in July, marking what would be the second-best winning percentage for a single month in Los Angeles history. The 1977 team went 17-3 (.850) in April.
• The Dodgers haven't lost a series since dropping two of three against the Pirates from June 14-16.
• Reds reliever J.J. Hoover hasn't allowed a run in 14 games (17 innings), while bullpen mate Manny Parra has made 18 straight scoreless appearances, a stretch spanning 14 2/3 innings entering Sunday.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.