Braves 10, Dodgers 1
Brandon Beachy needed seven starts to get his first win and was
happy to have done it at one of the league’s most famous
The 24-year-old right-hander yielded just two hits over six
scoreless innings, and the Atlanta Braves got home runs from Martin
Prado, Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla and pinch-hitter Eric Hinske to
rout the Dodgers 10-1 on Tuesday night.
Beachy (1-1) struck out seven and walked two. He came in with a
5.19 ERA over his three previous outings this season, 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 with 17 of his 111 pitches. ”It took a lot longer
than I had hoped to get it, but it feels good. I commanded the
fastball tonight, and that was key.”
The Dodgers trimmed Atlanta’s lead to 2-1 in the seventh against
Scott Linebrink when Juan Uribe led off with a scratch single off
Linebrink’s glove and 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.
The Braves blew it open with eight runs in the ninth. Hinske
batted for Venters in the ninth and deposited Kenley 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.
Hinske also capped the rally with an RBI single after Uggla’s
three-run homer off Ramon Troncoso and RBI singles by Brian McCann
and Alex Gonzalez.
”I got into a hitter’s count on the home run – and as a
pinch-hitter, that’s all you can ask for,” Hinske said. ”I tried
to put a good swing on the ball and it just worked out. I believe
that’s only the second time in my career that I’ve come up twice in
an inning after pinch-hitting. It’s cool to be a part of
Hiroki Kuroda (2-2) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1-3
innings, and was lifted with one on when Brooks Conrad came up as a
pinch-hitter for Beachy. Kuroda lost a 1-0 decision to the Braves’
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.
”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.”
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 Freeman at third.
But in the sixth, 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.
Conrad greeted Blake Hawksworth with a single, the first hit by
Braves pinch-hitters this season in 26 at-bats to that point.
”We knew it,” Hinske said. ”We’ve been talking about it. You
know. `Come on. Let’s go. We’ve got to start making our money.’ I
mean, if you don’t start getting any hits, you won’t be here for
very long. So we just tried to make a joke out of it. You can’t be
taking it too seriously. You have to have a short memory as a
pinch-hitter. It’s almost like being a closer. And `Brooksie got
the monkey off our backs.”
Prado followed Conrad’s hit with a walk that loaded the bases,
but Jason Heyward grounded to first for a force at the plate and
Jones popped out.
The Dodgers threatened in the first when Andre Ethier hit a
two-out double to right field off Heyward’s glove in the warning
track. But Uribe grounded out after an intentional walk to major
league batting leader Matt Kemp, who came in 10 for 19 with runners
in scoring position. Ethier’s hit extended the longest active
hitting streak in the majors to 16 games and match the longest
streak of his career, which he established as a rookie in 2006.
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
with allowing one.