Frazier steps up with stakes high

Frazier steps up with stakes high

LOS ANGELES -- When the Reds' Todd Frazier stepped up the plate to lead off the eighth inning on Monday vs. Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, he knew a lot was at stake. Ryu was working on a perfect game after retiring his first 21 batters in a row. The Dodgers, who got a no-hitter from Josh Beckett on Sunday in Philadelphia, were trying to be the first team to throw no-hitters in consecutive games.

"It's a lot different, especially since they threw one before that," Frazier said on Tuesday. "For me, I went to the bathroom and kind of looked myself in the mirror and said, 'Shake yourself a little bit.' I remember my old high school coach and Dad said, 'Let's go pick yourself up one time.'"

On a 1-0 changeup, Frazier lined a double to left field. It started a three-run rally in which the Reds sent nine men to the plate before falling short in a 4-3 loss. The hit disappointed the 45,505 fans at Dodger Stadium, who were getting louder with each passing inning.

"You're definitely aware, since they're at their home stadium," Frazier said. "You can feel it. You can understand the situation. It might make you a little more tense, but for me, I knew that in the top of the eighth this might be my last at-bat. You have to do something with it -- hit the ball hard. It's what I try to do every at-bat. Lucky for me, I figured out what he was throwing me the first two at-bats, even though I saw three pitches. I got a pitch up, which you have to do damage with."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.