Braves 3, Dodgers 1

The Braves already knew rookie Evan Gattis is an impressive

power hitter. He’s also proving a quick learner.

Gattis took advantage of some last-second tips from teammate

Justin Upton before hitting a go-ahead, two-run homer off Kenley

Jansen in the eighth inning, and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat

the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Saturday night.

Andrelton Simmons followed Gattis with another homer off Jansen

after each listened to quick reminders from Upton on the

right-hander’s signature cutters.

”I remembered (Upton) said something about (Jansen) in the

advance meeting, so I wanted to go to him to see what I could

get,” Gattis said. ”Whatever I could get in an at-bat like that

was going to help.”

Gattis said Upton’s advice was to avoid cutters that appeared to

be bound for the middle of the plate, because they would break off

the plate. Gattis said Upton’s instruction was to wait on a pitch

”starting at you, or it looks like it’s starting at you. That’s

going to be the one that you want.”

Gattis fouled off two cutters before hitting the line-drive

homer.

Jansen (1-2) said Gattis ”just hit a good pitch.”

”What could I do?” Jansen asked. ”I’m not going to let that

bother me. Tip your hat. He hit a good pitch. You’ve got to go in

there. Period. He’s creeping up on home plate every time I’m

throwing outside. I put it where I wanted to put it.”

Gattis has eight homers and ranks third in the majors with six

game-winning RBIs.

”Awesome,” said Simmons of Gattis. ”He’s awesome. Just

amazing. That’s all you can say. Pretty much you saw it coming, but

just seeing it is awesome. He’s a great hitter. He’s always ready

to go and he’s fun to watch.”

Gattis, primarily a catcher, also has played left field and

first base. The recent returns of catcher Brian McCann and right

fielder Jason Heyward from the disabled list may make it difficult

for Gattis to find regular playing time, but he said he enjoys

pinch-hitting.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sees a benefit in having Gattis

available as a pinch-hitter.

”He likes these moments, it seems like,” Gonzalez said. ”It’s

almost better that you can put him in anywhere you want, but sooner

or later we’ve got to get him three or four at-bats.”

Kris Medlen, Cory Gearrin, and Craig Kimbrel combined on a

two-hitter for Atlanta.

Chris Capuano led 1-0 before he allowed a one-out single to B.J.

Upton in the eighth. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly brought in

Jansen (1-2), the hard-throwing right-hander, to face Gattis even

though Capuano had allowed just five hits and thrown only 91

pitches.

”I’m not going to let him lose that game,” Mattingly said of

Capuano.

Capuano said he told Mattingly after his last at-bat in the

eighth inning to be prepared to pull him out of the game because he

had lingering problems with a strained calf.

”It wasn’t affecting pitch execution out there,” Capuano said.

”It just feels a little tired. I’ve got an extra day before the

next start. With treatment and stuff we should be able to get that

ready.”

Gearrin (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Medlen,

who gave up two hits and one unearned run in seven innings. Kimbrel

pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.

The Dodgers, who have lost two straight to the Braves after

winning four of five, scored their only run in the fourth. Adrian

Gonzalez walked and scored on Skip Schumaker’s double to the

left-field corner and left fielder Justin Upton’s fielding error.

Schumaker wasn’t given an RBI.

The only other hit allowed by Medlen was a second-inning single

by Tim Federowicz.

”Medlen was outstanding,” Gonzalez said. ”He was ready for

one of these games. You saw seven innings of him being the Medlen

of last year.”

Chris Johnson had three hits for the Braves, who won after

finding themselves in a sudden bullpen crisis.

Before the game, Braves general manager Frank Wren said an MRI

revealed a tear in Eric O’Flaherty’s left ulnar collateral ligament

in his elbow. O’Flaherty was placed on the disabled list and could

face season-ending surgery.

On Thursday, left-hander Jonny Venters had Tommy John surgery

for the second time, ending his season. On Friday, right-hander

Jordan Walden was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of

shoulder inflammation.

Medlen, who had been 0 for 13 this season, had a brief

celebration in the third inning when he had a bloop single for his

first hit. Standing and smiling on first base, Medlen lifted his

hands to the sky before giving first-base coach Terry Pendleton a

hug.

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp leaped and reached over the

wall to take a home run away from Heyward in the first inning.

Heyward took off his helmet while crossing second base. Just when

it appeared he might toss the headgear in disgust, Heyward instead

lifted the helmet toward Kemp in a gesture of respect.

NOTES: The Braves called up RHP Cory Rasmus from Triple-A

Gwinnett to take O’Flaherty’s roster spot. Rasmus, 25, is the

younger brother of Toronto OF Colby Rasmus. … Medlen lowered his

ERA to 3.02. … Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis, on the disabled list

because of a strained right quad, will join the team in Atlanta on

Sunday and fly with the team to Milwaukee. .. Mattingly said LHP

Ted Lilly (strained right rib cage) will come off the DL soon, but

not necessarily to start. … The series ends Sunday with Braves

LHP Mike Minor (5-2) facing Dodgers RHP Matt Magill (0-0).