After losing five times in a stretch of six games, the Cincinnati Reds have managed to get back on track with a pair of victories over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the latest being a 3-1 victory on Saturday night. And for the second straight start, it was young ace Hunter Greene stepping up on the mound doing his best to limit the Dodgers' explosive offense in an effort to keep his team in the game.

Greene's best efforts were enough for the Reds, and he managed to quiet Los Angeles' bats once again on the way to this win. It was an impressive outing from the young flamethrower, especially considering he just faced off against this squad in his previous trip to the mound. When looking back on his success in this outing, Greene highlighted a key element of his game that he believes has helped him out no matter who he is facing off against.

Hunter Greene continuing to emerge as an ace for the Reds

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) reacts after a play in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park.
Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since getting called up to the majors back in 2022, Greene has been one of the brightest young pitchers in the game, but he's struggled to consistently keep runs off the board. That hasn't been as much of an issue this season, as his biggest problem has been consistent run support from Cincinnati's offense.

After his good start went to waste against the Dodgers last Sunday (6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K), the Reds made sure to put Greene's latest strong outing to use (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Three runs isn't a ton of support, but thankfully, Greene and the rest of the Reds bullpen was good enough to help them grind out a victory in this one.

On the year now, Greene's numbers have taken a big step forward (3-2, 3.06 ERA, 71 K, 1.14 WHIP), and he seems to be turning into the ace the Reds were expecting him to become. If he can stay healthy and continue to pitch at this high-level, he could be well on his way to earning the first All-Star selection of his career.

Even with these two latest victories, though, the Reds only have a 22-30 record, as they have struggled to build off of their supposed breakout campaign in 2023. Greene has done his part, but the starting rotation behind him has been mediocre at best, and the lineup isn't getting much production from top to bottom.

The good news is that Cincinnati is still a very young team, so they have a lot of room to grow. And while a lot of that growth hasn't happened like expected this season, Greene's star turn is one of the few bright spots to start the year. Shutting down the Dodgers two times in a row is no easy task, and it's clear that Greene has a lot of momentum working for him as he prepares for his next start.