Stripling, Dodgers go for sweep of Braves (Jul 28, 2018)

July 28, 2018

ATLANTA -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will send right-hander Ross Stripling to the mound Sunday when they go for a rare four-game sweep over the Atlanta Braves in the series finale at SunTrust Park.

The Dodgers last enjoyed a four-game sweep of the Braves in July 1990, before some of the players on the current roster were born. Stripling had not celebrated his first birthday when it happened.

Stripling (8-2, 2.43 ERA) will face Atlanta lefty Sean Newcomb (9-5, 3.41) in the final meeting this season. The Dodgers lead the season series 5-1 and handed Atlanta its fourth straight loss Saturday.

Stripling will try to bounce back from a lackluster effort in his last start Monday against the Phillies. He lasted only 4 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits but did not figure in the decision. It was his shortest stint since May 6 and came on the heels of his appearance in the All-Star Game, when he allowed two home runs.

"I'm never going to tell you I'm fatigued or struggling," Stripling said. "The last couple starts, even though some of the numbers have been good, I've been giving up more hits, not striking out as many. Don't know if they know what's coming a little bit or fatigue mixed in, but I feel fine."

This will be Stripling's 16th start. He averages 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings with 114 against only 14 walks and a 1.10 WHIP.

Stripling has made two career starts against the Braves, going 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA. He beat Atlanta on June 10 at Dodger Stadium when he gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings and struck out six.

Newcomb also seemed to rebound from three successive subpar starts prior to the All-Star Game. He allowed 13 runs in 12 innings and twice failed to pitch past the fourth inning.

In his start against Miami on Monday, the southpaw gave up only one run in six innings and struck out five. Newcomb was able to throw his curveball for a strike. He had been missing with that pitch during his troubles.

"The curveball is a pitch that has been inconsistent for me at times," he said. "So, it was good to just rip one in there. That just left the door open for a lot of other stuff to work."

Newcomb will be making his fourth career start against Los Angeles. He is 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA against the Dodgers, including a loss to them earlier this season in which he allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Newcomb is not as effective in day games. His career ERA is 4.21 during the day, while 3.66 at night.

The Dodgers continue to play longball. Yasiel Puig came off the disabled list Saturday and connected for a two-run homer. Los Angeles leads the National League with 143 homers. It was the third straight game in which Puig has homered.

The Braves have struggled to get anything going offensively in the series. Atlanta has scored four runs in the three previous games and has dropped 13 of their last 18.



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