Dodgers' Josh Beckett looks sharp in 6-1 win over Reds

Josh Beckett puts in another fine performance in Dodgers' 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds

Josh Beckett, take a bow. OK, take several. Soak it all in, allow yourself a small, self-satisfied smile.

It’s early June and he is already a winner. A winner no matter what happens the rest of the way.

Beckett was at it again Tuesday, looking like he never had risky surgery last year to remove a rib that ended his season with an 0-5 record and a 5.19 earned-run average.

Beckett threw six scoreless innings, giving up two hits, as the Dodgers stopped the Cincinnati Reds, 6-1, at Great American Ball Park.

Beckett, 34, could not have pitched much better, striking out seven and walking one. He raised his record to 4-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.35.

Not bad for a guy the Dodgers were uncertain what to expect from at the beginning of the season. Beckett was at one point lined up for a battle with Paul Maholm for the fifth spot in the rotation. He doesn’t look like anyone’s fifth starter now.

The Dodgers supported him with 12 hits. Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier and Justin Turner each had two hits, and Hanley Ramirez drove in two runs. Gonzalez ended an 0-for-20 skid with two doubles.

Rain delayed the start of the game for 2 hours 5 minutes, but Beckett went right to work. The first hit he gave up came with two outs in the third inning when Mike Leake, the opposing pitcher, singled. Todd Frazier led off the fourth with a single.

The Reds scored once against Mahlom in the seventh inning but by then the Dodgers had scored their six runs. Chris Perez, Brian Wilson and Jamey Wright held off the Reds the rest of the way.

The Dodgers improved their road record to 22-12, best in the majors. They are 13-19 at home.

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