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LOS ANGELES – Thanks to a Atlanta Braves third baseman celebrating his 40th birthday with a home run and a win on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to rebound and grab a good win in the final game of the three games series.
It was a very solid pitchers duel between the Dodgers Ted Lilly and the Braves Brandon Beachy as neither one gave any runs in the first three innings. Lilly ended up giving up the first score, after Freddie Freeman doubled to right, Brian McCann grounded out which advanced Freeman to third base. Dan Uggla blasted a single to left, that caused Freeman to score, Braves were up 1-0.
Just an inning later with Tony Gywnn Jr. and A.J. Ellis on third and second base, Dee Gordon grounds out to second, allowing Gwynn to score and tied up the game.
In the bottom of the sixth in the rain, Matt Kemp bashes a solo home run, his 10th on the season, that gave the Dodgers the lead.
Kensley Jensen came in for Lilly who pitched an outstanding game, seven strong innings.
Jensen set it up for closer Javy Guerra to do what he does best, get three outs and the victory for the Dodgers. Not so fast, as the ninth inning proved to be the game clinching inning for the Braves. Freeman singled to right to get on base. McCann reached on an infield single that ricocheted off of Guerra’s face, to advance Freeman to second base. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and the Dodger Training staff came to the mound to check on Guerra who continued the inning.
Next batter Dan Uggla hit a single to right center, Freeman scored and advanced Wilson to third base. Chipper Jones had a big clutch RBI single to right that scored Wilson, and moved Uggla to third base. Jason Heyward also hit a key single to left that caused Uggla to score and at that point, it was Jason Lindblom time as Guerra was replaced in the inning by Mattingly.
Lindblom ended the inning while getting Juan Fransisco to ground out into a double play. The Dodgers had one last inning to at least tie or win the game and take the series lead.
However that wouldn’t happen on this night, as reliever Craig Kimbrel struck out A.J. Ellis, and got Gordon to ground out to third base to end the game, as the Braves stole two out of three in this series from the Dodgers 4-2.
Chipper Jones left Dodger Stadium for the last time with more great memories to add to his collection.
Lilly threw 79 pitches, allowing a run and three hits, while Beachy allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, ironically a year ago he picked his first victory at Dodger Stadium.
Chipper Jones talked about his final trip at Dodger Stadium “I mean, that’s what you play the game for moments like that. You don’t know how many times I’ve rehearsed that very moment in my backyard growing up, only I was a Dodger.” He also added “It’s been a storybook season so far, it’s been one highlight after another. I’m savoring each and every one of them because you never know when the last one is going to come. To have revered this ballpark and this organization the way I did as a kid, and to leave it here tonight like this, it’s awfully special.”
Dodger first baseman James Loney spoke about the toughness of closer Javy Guerra “That just shows you how tough he is and how much he wants to be out there and compete. And you want a guy like that on your team! He has the mentality of a closer. You just shake off the last bad day and come out ready for the next one.”
*Jonny Venters picked up the win for the Braves as Guerra (1-3) was handed the loss for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will have to indeed shake this loss off and prepare for the Washington Nationals who come to town on Friday for a weekend series, as they prepare to win the next three games.
After a 3-3 road trip coming off a terrible outing on Sunday in Houston, the Dodgers look to return to familiar territory, Dodger Stadium where they have done their best work.
Chris Capuano had the responsibility of keeping the winning streak alive against the young Atlanta Braves’ Jair Jurrjens.
Jurrjens allowing Dee Gordon to hit a single to center, which later allowed him the opportunity to steal second base, was a not a great way to start off the game. Mark Ellis flew out to right field, Matt Kemp was walked. Things didn’t get any better for Jurrjens as the reliable Andre Either hit a big single to center, that caused Gordon to score.
Capuano at the top of the second inning gave up an unnecessary home run to David Ross to tie the game at 1-1. Capuano would settle down and concentrate to get out of the inning unscaved, however the Dodgers would need run support and fast. James Loney who seems to be getting in stride hit a timely double into center, and Juan Uribe hit a single that caused Loney to score. The Dodgers weren’t done as A.J. Ellis singled to center, Uribe scores as they continue to pile on runs.
The reign of runs didn’t stop in the bottom of the fourth inning Loney has another timely hit, Uribe singles to advance Loney to third base. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had seen enough and called in reliever Livan Hernandez for Jurrjens. Which didn’t prove to be any better, as Gordon hit a sacrifice fly to left, Uribe scored to give the Dodgers the huge 5-1 lead.
In the top of the eight inning, Josh Lindblom relieves Capuano who pitched seven strong innings on six hits, and five strikeouts. The first batter Lindblom faced was slugger Dan Uggla who hit a home run deep to right field that cut the lead 5-2. But the Dodgers would soon answer back as Uribe would hit a huge bases loaded single, sending Kemp and Either in to score. Uribe tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs on the night for the Dodgers, a magnificent night by the third baseman.
Dodger reliever Scott Elbert came in to close out the game and pick up the victory as the Dodgers took the first game of this three game series 7-2.
Juan Uribe talked about his stellar play against the Braves Monday night “I was hurt last year, but I wanted to play and show the guys I could play and help the team. For me, it was just important for us to win the game.”
Chris Capuano picks up the victory to go 2-0 on the season and spoke about his performance “It was a battle, but luckily I had a pretty decent cutter working, and that helped me out in that last situation. I was struggling with my command early, and I wasn’t able to get those calls on the inside of the plate to right-handers.”
Jurrjens pitched terribly, gave up five runs and nine hits in three-plus innings of work. Surprisingly this was the first time Jurrjens failed to record a strikeout in 42 starts.
The Braves all star third baseman Chipper Jones sat out of the game nursing a sore left knee, on the eve of his 40th birthday, but is expected to be in the line up on Tuesday. He announced earlier last month that this will be his final season with the Atlanta Braves. He’s had an outstanding career that spans 19 season, that included him being the 1999 NL MVP.
The Los Angeles Dodgers look to continue their winning ways as one of the hottest team in Major League Baseball, as ace Clayton Kershaw looks for his first win against the Houston Astros starter Kyle Weiland.
Kershaw started out solid as usual, allowing no runs as he continued to focus on the mission at hand, a victory. However Weiland had his work cut out for him, starting with giving up a solo home run to an offensively awaken James Loney.
Weiland continued to hold his own against Kershaw, even striking out Kershaw at an at bat. Weiland on misguided bunt play, allowed Dee Gordon to get on to first base in the top of the sixth inning. Then Gordon took off for second, but thanks to bad guided throw that resulted in an error, allowed the speedy Gordon to make it to third base. Can we say deja vu all over again, as slugger Matt Kemp bashes another two run home run as he did yesterday.
Kershaw continued to dominate, the same could not be said for Weiland as he was replaced in the eight inning by Rhiner Cruz. Cruz immediately walks AJ Ellis, Kershaw bunted into a double play that got Ellis out at second base. After walking Adam Kennedy, Cruz was relieved by David Carpenter who loaded the bases with a Matt Kemp walk. And of course Andre Either cashes in on single to right, allowing Gordon and Kennedy to score 5-0.
The Dodgers bullpen has had trouble throughout the young season, showed it struggles, as Mike MacDougal relieved Kershaw, only to give up a center field single to Justin Maxwell. After that walking both Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve, which made Dodger manager to make a quick personnel change bring in Kensley Jensen to finish out the inning. By then the damage had been done after walking J Martinez, Maxwell scored to avoid the shutout. Jensen was able to get out of the inning with out any further runs to set up Jamey Wright to close out the ninth inning and grab the save and victory for the Dodgers 5-1. Kershaw finally gets his first victory of the season, as Kemp has homered in three consecutive games.
Kershaw spoke about his great outing “I didn’t have great fastball command tonight. I struggled with my fastball. I didn’t exactly know where it was going all the time. I was fortunate to get some outs here and there. It was a battle tonight.”
Kershaw struck out nine and allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings for his first win this season after experiencing no decisions in his first three games of this year.
Weiland pitched seven innings, struck out six with two home runs. Weiland talked about that monster home run by Matt Kemp “I did the exact opposite of what we wanted, coming out there in that situation, you can’t give him anything close to hit. I dropped my elbow a little bit there and the pitch just spun up there.”