LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dee Gordon's first game at Dodger Stadium can best be described as a mixed bag — and a missed bag.
The 23-year-old shortstop, promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque during the Dodgers' 5-5 road trip, committed a couple of embarrassing miscues in the field Monday night in a 6-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. But he also turned in three dazzling defensive plays and got his first big league RBI with a triple in the eighth inning.
"He is going to be a fun guy to watch," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "That speed is going to be electric."
The Dodgers were about to short-circuit a Reds rally in the second, but Gordon failed to touch second base on a potential double-play grounder by Miguel Cairo after taking the short flip from Aaron Miles. That cost the Dodgers an out — and a run, as Paul Janish drove in Chris Heisey with a two-out single.
"I could have gotten closer to the base. That was a miscue on my part," Gordon said. "It was a close play, but you've got to make sure you get one."
In the seventh, Gordon botched a routine grounder by Ryan Hanigan leading off the inning, and the Reds capitalized with four runs to break open a 2-2 game. The big blow was Joey Votto's three-run homer off reliever Matt Guerrier.
"I committed the error, but you've got to keep your head up and keep going," Gordon said. "You definitely want to go out, help your team win, get the crowd into it, just play hard. That's all I can do every day."
Gordon, the Dodgers' minor league player of the year in 2009 and the son of former major league closer Tom Gordon, redeemed himself somewhat with back-to-back defensive gems in the third, and another in the sixth.
After robbing Brandon Phillips of a hit toward the middle of the diamond, Gordon charged another ball that ricocheted off pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and barehanded it before throwing out Votto. Four innings later, Gordon made a diving grab of Votto's line drive toward second.
"We hit the ball hard today, but that little shortstop Gordon — he made some fantastic plays to save them a lot of runs. And he hit an exciting triple," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Bronson Arroyo outpitched Kuroda for the second time in 11 days and singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth. Heisey also homered for the Reds in the opener of a three-game series.
Kuroda (5-8) was charged with four runs — two earned — and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks. The 36-year-old right-hander is 0-5 with a 4.39 ERA in his last five starts, but his teammates have totaled just nine runs during that stretch.
Arroyo (5-6) allowed four runs and seven hits over 7 2-3 innings with no walks in a rematch of his June 3 duel with Kuroda, which Cincinnati won 2-1. The Reds' right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last four starts against the Dodgers, after going 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in his other nine starts against them.
"Sometimes during the year you get locked in with a team that you feel good about," Arroyo said. "I haven't been feeling particularly great all season long, and the last time I faced them at our place, I threw a much worse game and got away with it and won 2-1. Tonight I felt like I had good, crisp stuff. It was cool out there, so I wasn't exerting too much energy and my pitch count was pretty low."
The Dodgers narrowed the gap to 6-4 in the eighth with Gordon's triple into the right-field corner and a sacrifice fly by Miles. But Bill Bray struck out Andre Ethier to end the inning and Francisco Cordero fanned James Loney, pinch-hitter Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro after a leadoff walk to NL home run leader Matt Kemp.
It was Cordero's 13th save in 15 chances this season and the 303rd of his career to tie Doug Jones for 20th place.
Loney drove in the game's first run with a first-inning single after Arroyo gave up a two-out single by Ethier and hit Kemp with a pitch.
Kemp scored the Dodgers' second run on a double-play grounder by Juan Uribe in the third. But Heisey tied it 2-all in the sixth with a two-out solo homer on the first pitch, causing an exasperated Kuroda to put both hands on his head before the ball landed in the left-field pavilion.
Votto, the reigning NL MVP, is vying for his first batting title with a .333 average. The home run was his ninth of the season and first since his three-run shot against Clayton Kershaw on June 4 at Cincinnati.
NOTES: In a game featuring two of the NL's top three home run hitters, Kemp and Jay Bruce, neither went deep. Kemp's league-leading 20 homers are seven shy of the Dodgers' franchise record at the All-Star break, which Gary Sheffield set in 2000. The team has 24 games left before the Midsummer Classic. ... Miles hasn't hit a home run in 507 at-bats since Sept. 16, 2008 — against Arroyo while playing for St. Louis at Cincinnati. ... Uribe and Reds SS Edgar Renteria were teammates last season and helped San Francisco win the World Series. Renteria was the Series MVP, combining with Uribe for nine RBIs against Texas.