Braves Handle Dodgers in Latest Road Series

(Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)

Backed by six strong innings from lefty starter Max Fried, the Braves held off the Dodgers 4-2 in Sunday afternoon’s finale, winning the weekend series two games to one in the process.

The Dodgers looked strong in Friday’s opener, but they seemingly lost all their momentum when the Braves erupted for five runs in the bottom of the third inning in Saturday’s middle game, all with two batters out.

Fried was pulled in the seventh inning Sunday when the Dodgers had runners on first and second with nobody out, but lefty reliever A.J. Minter held the Dodgers at bay, enticing a pop out and two flyouts by Will Smith, Gavin Lux, and pinch-hitter Max Muncy, who many believed was not available due to a sore ankle.

Like his lefty counterpart, right-hander Trevor Bauer started the game for Los Angeles and lasted six full innings before being lifted for Muncy with two outs in the top of the seventh. Bauer allowed three earned runs on six hits and an uncharacteristic four walks while striking out seven batters.

The Dodgers’ first run of the game came in the fourth when Justin Turner doubled to left field and later scored on an Albert Pujols single to right.

Los Angeles crawled closer in the top of the ninth when Pujols landed a solo shot into the left field bleachers. Pujols’ homer was his fourth as a Dodger, his ninth of the season, and the 671st of his career.

The Braves took an early 1-0 lead when Abraham Almonte drove home Dansby Swanson with a double to center field in the second inning. Atlanta stretched its lead to two after an Ozzie Albies double plated Freddie Freeman in the third.

Aside from the blast by Pujols, Atlanta reliver Will Smith was effective enough to collect his 11th save of the year, his second in as many days.

With the win, Fried improved to 3-2. Bauer’s record dropped to 6-4.

In Saturday’s middle game, it looked like the Dodgers were off to a good start when Mookie Betts scored on an errant pickoff play in the top of the first inning. However, lefty starter Clayton Kershaw allowed the Braves to rally after Ronald Acuna drew a two-out walk in the third, which was enough to seal the 6-4 win.

Spearheaded by a Matt Beaty single to center in the fourth inning, the Dodgers scored three runs to climb back within one run, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Braves. Atlanta added an insurance run in the seventh when Almonte took reliever Blake Treinen deep to right field.

After a day off, the Dodgers will face the Pirates at PNC Park for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday.

9 thoughts on “Braves Handle Dodgers in Latest Road Series

  1. Record since Bellinger’s return is 3-5. Maybe that wasn’t the answer. Apologies to Raley.
    Season totals to this point:
    Raley – 50 Plate Appearances, .182 Bat Avg, .280 OBP
    Bellinger – 50 Plate Appearances, .190 Bat Avg, .320 OBP

    And now for my pet peeve: Run Differential – it’s a crock.
    During our last 8 games in which we’ve gone 3-5, we have outscored our opponents by 9 runs (or basically 1 run per game), yet we’ve won only 3 of the 8. If you win a game 11-2 and lose the next two 3-2 your run differential looks great but you’ve still lost 2 out of 3. I have no clue why anyone pays any attention to this stat.

    Heartiest thanks to the Cubs and Mets for beating SF and SD today. We need all the help we can get.

    1. There should be a way to measure the consistency of a team or player, because like you alluded to, run differential is meaningless for the Dodgers. I remember the point when Enrique and Joc were two of the streakiest offensive players on the team. Now it seems like the whole team is falling victim to inconsistency. Even the starting rotation.

      Maybe create a stat—like an enhanced OBP—where a player is penalized for each consecutive game he doesn’t reach base or something of that nature. It certainly would be interesting.

      1. Interesting thought Dennis. I wonder, though, if everyone actually values consistency. It seems to me that consistency makes planning and strategizing much easier, but maybe that’s just me.

      2. Not a single Dodger in today’s lineup hitting over .300 for the season. Among all players with qualified AB, Taylor is leading the way with a.281 average.

      3. Bellinger and Betts will put it together, Seager should be back for the second half, and the pitching will remain sound.

        I understand the point about run differential but I’m fine with the Dodgers leading the league in scoring. Maybe we can get learn how to get better at winning the close ones.

  2. Very frustrating team. No fire in the dugout. Flat when they should be taking advantage of teams that have bad records. And they almost let the Braves off of the hook in the game they won. Phat Albert was their only offense yesterday. Turner has not been Turner for weeks. Down below .280 and he has not hit a HR in quite a while.

    1. Boy, what a shocker.
      Meanwhile he’s got a problem with his elbow. I wonder if that will ultimately hurt him in the free agent market this winter. Teams might be worried that ultimately he’ll need TJ surgery.

      1. They just might. Right now I am not very comfortable with Lux as Seager’s replacement. Still not a solid hitter, and his judgement at SS is a question mark to me. That collision with AJ was scary.

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