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

Alex Gonzalez.

”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.