Dodgers 5, Braves 3(12)
For the second straight series, Matt Kemp helped the Los Angeles
Dodgers win the finale with a game-ending home run. This time, the
Atlanta Braves were the victims.
Christhian Martinez surrendered the deciding hit on an 0-2
pitch, three innings after Casey Blake tied it in the bottom of the
ninth with an RBI single on an 0-2 delivery from Craig Kimbrel.
The result: The Braves lost 5-3 Thursday, dropping a chance to
split the four-game set.
”You can’t make mistakes 0-2, and we did today,” manager Fredi
Gonzalez said. ”Anytime you do that late in the game, you’re
asking for trouble.”
Both teams were down to their final strike much earlier.
David Ross hit a two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth
to put the Braves ahead 3-2. They rallied with two hits and a walk
against Clayton Kershaw, who had held them to just two hits through
the first eight.
”It was great to see our guys do that,” Gonzalez said. ”In
all this, you almost forget Kershaw’s performance.”
”The way he was pitching, for us to scratch out a couple of
runs off him when he was in line for the ‘W,’ we feel good. In
fact, I told the guys that when they came in here.”
Andre Ethier, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 18
games with infield single in the third inning, doubled with one out
in the Dodgers 12th against Martinez (0-1). Kemp sent a drive over
the fence in left-center for his fourth homer of the season.
On Sunday, Kemp hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth
to beat St. Louis 2-1.
”Matty’s awesome,” Kershaw said. ”I told him what an
incredible job he did and thanks for picking me up. In that
situation, where both bullpens are getting eaten up, for Matty to
pull it out like that with an 0-2 count, it was an awesome
Matt Guerrier (1-0) pitched two innings for his first NL victory
after seven seasons with Minnesota.
Chipper Jones started the Braves’ ninth-inning rally with a
two-out single and Dan Uggla followed with a single. When the throw
went to third, Uggla hustled to second and made a headfirst slide
to barely beat the throw.
After rookie Freddie Freeman walked on a full-count, the
23-year-old Kershaw got a visit from rookie manager Don Mattingly.
Kershaw was allowed to stay in and Ross singled on an 0-2 pitch to
put Atlanta in front.
”I love the fact that Donnie had enough confidence to keep me
out there,” Kershaw said. ”I want the ball in that situation so
that win or lose, it would be in my hands. You know, 27 outs are
hard to get, so I learned my lesson today.”
In the Dodgers ninth, Jamey Carroll drew a leadoff walk from
Kimbrel and advanced on a wild pitch. Blake’s clutch hit saddled
Kimbrel with his first blown save in five chances.
”I tried to go with a fastball away, and it just would up over
the plate,” Kimbrel said. ”I didn’t get the pitch where I wanted
to and he made me pay.”
Kershaw faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four
innings. He retired his first 10, then gave up a single to Alex
Gonzalez in the fourth before picking him off.
In the fifth, Freeman opened the scoring with a home run to
right field on a 2-2 pitch.
Juan Uribe tied it with a leadoff homer in the sixth against
Jair Jurrjens, his first with the Dodgers after hitting a
career-high 24 last season for the World Series champion San
Francisco Giants. The 11-year veteran had four RBIs in Wednesday
game, after driving in only three runs in his first 60 at-bats of
Blake put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 in the seventh, connecting
against Scott Linebrink for his first home run of the season.
Jurrjens allowed a run and seven hits over six innings and
struck out six.
”You know that when you face the ace on the other team, you
need to limit the runs,” Jurrjens said. ”Kershaw is a good
pitcher, a strikeout pitcher and a dominant pitcher. And he showed
that today until the ninth.”
NOTES: Thursday marked the 121st anniversary of the first win by
the Dodgers franchise, which was then known as the Brooklyn
Bridegrooms. The team they beat was the Boston Beaneaters, who are
now the Braves. In honor of that occasion, both teams wore
throwback uniforms, with Atlanta dressed in circa-1944 Boston
Braves apparel. … Braves RF Jason Heyward, who was 0 for 13 in
the first three games of this series and struck out three times on
Wednesday, got the day off against a left-handed starter. He is 3
for 41 lifetime against Dodgers pitching with 15 strikeouts.