Dodgers 8, Braves 6
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was looking ahead to the postseason when he stuck with Arodys Vizcaino after the Dodgers loaded the bases with three straight singles in the seventh.
Gonzalez said he may need to use the rookie in a similarly difficult situation in the playoffs. He hopes Vizcaino learns from the experience, even though the results were ugly for Atlanta.
James Loney's three-run double was the key hit in a five-run seventh inning for Los Angeles and the streaking Dodgers rallied after trailing by five runs to beat Atlanta 8-6 on Friday night.
Andre Ethier added a two-run single in the seventh and Juan Rivera drove in three runs for the Dodgers, who have won five straight and 10 of 11. The Braves led 5-0 after three innings.
Vizcaino, a hard-throwing right-hander who was appearing in his 10th game with Atlanta, gave up five runs, four hits and two walks while blowing a 5-3 lead in the seventh.
''I think that was the first time he got hit around a little bit,'' Gonzalez said. ''Hopefully he learned from that and got some experience.''
The Braves still lead St. Louis by 8 1-2 games in the NL wild-card race.
Javy Guerra earned his 14th save despite giving up a homer to Dan Uggla in the ninth.
Hong-Chih Kuo (1-2), who began the night with a 10.61 ERA, pitched two scoreless innings after Chad Billingsley was knocked out in the fifth.
''Our guys were good out of the pen and we crept back in,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''I don't know how to explain it, honestly. Confidence is big in this game.''
Dodgers rookie shortstop Dee Gordon had three hits, scored three runs and stole two bases after his fielding error in the second led to two unearned runs.
''I feel like I grew a little bit from that play,'' Gordon said.
''I was determined to get on base any way I could.''
Atlanta's Brandon Beachy gave up three runs, four hits and three walks in six innings and left with a 5-3 lead. Beachy, pitching one day before his 25th birthday, had seven strikeouts - his fifth straight start with at least seven.
Beachy said he should have done a better job of throwing strikes when given an early 5-0 lead.
''I wasn't as sharp as usual,'' he said. ''That happens. I just need to be a little bit better. I was just missing at times, just throwing balls when there was no reason to.''
The Dodgers rallied against Vizcaino (1-1) in the seventh. Three straight singles by Justin Sellers, pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. and Gordon loaded the bases. Loney followed with his three-run double to right, giving the Dodgers a 6-5 lead.
Vizcaino issued an intentional walk to Matt Kemp before also walking Rivera, again loading the bases. Ethier added a two-run single off Cristhian Martinez.
Vizcaino was charged with five runs while retiring only one batter.
Including Beachy, the Braves will start rookies in each of the three games against Los Angeles. Left-hander Mike Minor will start Saturday night, and right-hander Randall Delgado will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill in for Jair Jurrjens on Sunday.
Jurrjens is having his sore right knee examined by orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo. The Braves' rotation is also missing right-hander Tommy Hanson, who is on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder.
According to STATS LLC, the last time the Braves started three straight rookie pitchers in one series was Sept. 9-11, 2008, when Jorge Campillo, James Parr and Jurrjens pitched against the Rockies.
Billingsley gave up five runs, three earned, nine hits and three walks. He was pulled after giving up a single to Jones on his 90th pitch to lead off the fifth.
The right-hander gave up three runs in the second on a walk and three hits, including run-scoring singles by Michael Bourn and Brian McCann. Gordon mishandled Martin Prado's grounder at shortstop for an error, allowing another run to score.
Freeman doubled and scored on another double by Alex Gonzalez in the third for a 5-0 lead.
The Dodgers scored two runs in the fourth when Beachy hit Kemp with a pitch to load the bases and Rivera hit a two-run single to center.
Gordon singled and scored on another single by Rivera in the sixth.
NOTES: Bourn stole two bases. ... Minor and Los Angeles RHP Nathan Eovaldi, will pitch in Saturday night's game. Of the six starting pitchers in the three-game series, four are rookies, including all three for Atlanta. ... IF Jack Wilson, acquired by the Braves from Seattle on Wednesday, was activated from the 15-day DL and struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth. ... The Braves released SS Julio Lugo. ... Hanson threw two sets of 30 throws from 60 feet before the game and said he ''definitely felt good.''... Mattingly said 3B Juan Uribe, on the 15-day DL since July 24 with a groin strain, is not expected to return this season.