Braves 10, Dodgers 1
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff surrendered four home
runs against the Atlanta Braves. Two of them came off Hiroki
Kuroda, who had an otherwise solid outing and got no runs to work
with while he was in the game.
Kuroda allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings on
Tuesday night before the Braves exploded for eight runs in the
ninth against Kenley Jansen and Ramon Troncoso in a 10-1 victory –
Brandon Beachy’s first in the majors.
”That’s a tough thing for us because we were down by two, and
then we get back in the game in the seventh,” Dodgers manager Don
Mattingly said. ”The final score looks different than what the
game really was. It’s a 2-1 game going into the ninth, and then you
just can’t stop them.”
Los Angeles got on the board in the seventh against Scott
Linebrink when Juan Uribe led off with a scratch single off
Linebrink’s glove. Uribe scored from third when third baseman
Chipper Jones robbed rookie Jerry Sands of a possible double down
the line with a diving stop and threw him out by a step.
”I was a little out of position for where he hit it, because
he’s been inside the ball the last two nights and hitting it the
other way quite a bit,” Jones said. ”Apparently, we ran one in on
him and he got around on it. It was just a reaction play, trying to
knock it down and keep it on the infield. It stuck, and I made a
good enough throw to get him and preserve the lead there.”
The run ended a scoreless streak of 18 2-3 innings by the
Braves’ bullpen. Jonny Venters replaced Linebrink, striking out
pinch-hitter Marcus Thames and retiring Casey Blake on a
bases-loaded grounder after a two-out walk to Jamey Carroll.
In the Braves’ ninth, Eric Hinske batted for Venters and
deposited Jansen’s 3-1 pitch into the first row of the lower seats
in the right field corner for a two-run homer. It was Hinske’s
first of the season and sixth of his career as a pinch-hitter. He
also capped the rally with an RBI single after Dan Uggla’s
three-run homer off Troncoso and RBI singles by Brian McCann and
”Those are all major league hitters, and any time anyone can
pop it out of the yard,” Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas said. ”The
guys who hit them tonight, they all have power. They’re not slap
guys, who you wouldn’t necessarily say have no power.”
Kuroda, a control specialist who came in averaging 2.02 walks
per nine innings during his four-plus seasons in the majors, walked
his first two batters in the fifth before starting a 1-6-3 double
play on Nate McLouth’s comebacker and retiring Beachy on a
groundout with Freddie Freeman at third.
But in the sixth, Martin Prado led off with a drive that barely
cleared the fence in left-center. The homer was just the second hit
off Kuroda to that point, including Prado’s leadoff single in the
first. Kuroda got behind Freeman 2-1 before his next pitch cleared
the fence just to the left of center field.
”He went out there and competed. When you give up two solo home
runs in seven innings, that’s not a bad outing,” said Barajas, who
got the night off while A.J. Hinch caught Kuroda for the third time
in his four starts. ”Every now and then those mistakes are going
to be hit out of the park. But he pounded the strike zone. He
struggled in his last outing. And to come back and give us that
kind of performance, it was a game we could have won.”
Kuroda was lifted with one on in the seventh when Brooks Conrad
came up as a pinch-hitter for Beachy. Kuroda lost a 1-0 decision to
Tim Hudson last August in Atlanta when Conrad homered against him
in the seventh inning. The right-hander also pitched a one-hit
shutout against the Braves at Dodger Stadium on July 7, 2008.
”He throws a four-seamer that can ride up in the zone, a
two-seamer that he spots on the outside corner, a tight little
slider 85-86 miles an hour and a split that was very effective for
him in the first inning,” Jones said. ”After that, he had a
little trouble throwing it for strikes. That’s a big strikeout
pitch for him.”
Andre Ethier hit a two-out double to right field off Jason
Heyward’s glove at the warning track with two outs in the first,
but was stranded. The hit extended the longest active hitting
streak in the majors to 16 games and matched the longest streak of
Ethier’s career, which he established as a rookie in 2006.
Beachy (1-1) yielded just two hits over six scoreless innings,
struck out seven and walked two in his seventh big league start. He
came in with a 5.19 ERA over his three previous outings, including
a 6-5 loss on Thursday against Florida at Turner Field in which he
was charged with five runs and four walks in 5 1-3 innings.
”It’s not a bad place to get the first win. I don’t think any
place would have been a bad place for that, but I think it’s pretty
cool that it happened here,” said Beachy, who struck out the side
in the fourth. ”It took a lot longer than I had hoped to get it,
but it feels good.”
Notes: Mattingly will celebrate his 50th birthday on Wednesday.
He spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, who
were 6-4 when Mattingly played on his birthday. In those games, he
was 12 for 38 with nine RBIs, including home runs on his 26th and
29th birthdays. … Beachy did not give up a home run for the first
time this season. The Braves’ staff has gone 50 consecutive innings
without allowing a homer.