Dodgers 2 7 0
Braves 4 9 0
WP- Venters (2-0)
LP- Guerra (1-3)
S- Kimbrel (7)
HR- Matt Kemp (10)
On a uncharacteristically gloomy day in Los Angeles, the Dodgers were looking to squeak in their third game with the Braves before the impending storm hit. The Dodgers had only lost one series so far this season (vs. Milwaukee), and their single loss at home to the Braves yesterday was good for the best home record in baseball.
Ted Lilly, who has pitched exceptionally well so far this season, puts in another quality start for the Dodgers allowing only 3 Atlanta hits in 7 innings. Matt Kemp continues his MLB leading dominance as he blasts a huge wet homerun halfway up the bleachers to give the Dodgers the edge. The wheels would come off in the ninth inning for the Dodgers, after Javy Guerra is hit in the face by a Brian McCann line drive. Javy blows his second save in as many games.
Dee Gordon flies out to shallow left field for the first Dodger out of the game against Beachy. Mark Ellis comes up with nice single to center field. Matt Kemp is called on strikes looking on a borderline fastball at the knees. Kemp mumbles something to the umpire as he heads back to the dugout. Andre Ethier also strikes out looking to end the first, and it looks like we’ll have a tough time tonight against Beachy. There’s thunder going on here as the storm rolls in, but alas there is no thunder in the Dodger bats so far this game.
Brandon Beachy easily sends the Dodgers down in order in the bottom of the second.
It only takes Ted Lilly 10 pitches to retire the Braves in order in the third. Lilly retires the opposing pitcher, striking him out with a big rainbow curve and gets Bourn to fly out to left field for the last two outs.
A. J. Ellis whiffs to start the Dodgers half of the third inning, but then Lilly bounces a base hit right over Chipper Jones’ head. Gordon hits into a force play allowing Lilly to return to the dugout. Gordon steals his tenth base of the season. He is 10 for 14 in stolen base attempts. Mark Ellis slices a fly ball right to Heyward to end any hope of scorin’.
Dee Gordon robs Martin Prado of a hit as he makes a great fully extended diving catch! Freddie Freeman then promptly doubles, and the ball goes all the way to the wall. Brian McCann grounds out, and Freeman takes third on the play. Uggla singles in Freeman to put the Braves on the board, 1-0. Chipper grounds into a force for the third out, but the damage is done.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kemp grounds out to start it off. Ethier then doubles on a line drive to right field, but Loney uselessly strikes out. Hairston grounds out to strand Dre.
Ted Lilly has a very nice easy 1-2-3 inning for the top of the fifth.
The Dodgers finally score in the bottom of the fifth. Tony Gwynn Jr. singles to lead things off. With A.J. Ellis at bat, Gwynn steals second. Ellis follows nicely with a single of his own, and Gwynn moves over to third. Ted Lilly’s sacrifice bunt gets Ellis over to second, and there is runners at second and third with one out. Gwynn scores on Gordon’s grounder, and we are all tied up at 1-1. Mark Ellis flies out, leaving Bison waiting on deck.
The rain begins to fall as the sixth inning gets underway. Ted Lilly, pitching well tonight, has another 1-2-3 inning.
Matt Kemp leads off the bottom of the sixth inning for the Dodgers. With the rain getting heavier, and a tied ballgame all we need is a Matt Kemp homerun to take the lead….and he blasts his 10th of the year off Beachy into center field! That ball was crushed. It landed high up in the pavilion. 2-1 Dodgers. Kemp is now tied with Gary Sheffield for the Dodgers record for most homeruns in April (10). Beachy, now flustered, throws a wild pitch on a third strike to Andre Ethier. Ethier reaches first base. Loney’s fly ball is the first out of the inning. Jerry Hairston draws a walk. Gwynn flies out, and Ellis grounds out.
Moving to the seventh inning, and Ted Lilly is in cruise control. Atlanta goes down in order once again, and Lilly is helped out by Jerry Hairston who makes a nice play on a Chipper Jones groundball to third.
Juan Uribe, pinch hitting for Ted Lilly, strikes out in typical fashion to begin the bottom of the seventh. Dee Gordon singles, and Fredi Gonzalez makes the call to the bullpen to bring in Chad Durbin to relieve Beachy. Mark Ellis flies out. Matt Kemp walks, and the Braves go to the bullpen again for a lefty to pitch to Ethier. Eric O’Flaherty does his job and strikes out Dre for the final out.
Ted Lilly pitched 7 solid innings, allowing only 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts on 79 pitches.
Brandon Beachy pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts on 109 pitches.
Kenley Jansen is asked to pitch the eighth inning for the Dodgers. Tyler Pastornicky breaks the 11 Braves retired in a row chain by singling with one out. Eric Hinske whiffs on some Jansen heat. Kenley Jansen now has 20 whiffs, tied for best in the Majors among relievers. Bourn grounds out, and the Braves are down to their final three outs.
Jonny Venters, a tough left-handed reliever, comes out of the pen to keep the Dodgers to only a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. Loney, Hairston, and Gwynn all look foolish against Venters and all three strike out. Take note, Scott Elbert!
Javy Guerra comes in for the ninth and looking for a little redemption from last night’s blown save. Prado flies out to Ethier. Freddie Freeman singles to right field. Brian McCann nearly takes Javy’s head off on a line drive that hits his jaw. His entire right cheek is red. Everyone convenes on the mound to make sure he’s ok, but he insists he is. Dan Uggla slaps a single over Mark Ellis, and Freeman scores to tie the game at 2-2. Chipper Jones, in which could be his last at bat at Dodger Stadium, singles home pinch runner Jack Wilson, and the Braves now lead 3-2 after four consecutive Atlanta singles. Make that five as Heyward singles in Uggla, 5-2. Josh Lindblom has to come in to relieve Javy. In complete meltdown style, Lindblom promptly hits Pastornicky to load the bases with still just one out. The nightmare finally comes to an end when Juan Francisco hits into a double play.
Craig Kimbrel pitches the ninth for the Braves looking to secure the series win. Down goes A.J. Ellis on strikes. Any hope of winning this game was erased as soon as that ball hit poor Javy. Adam Kennedy, professional out maker, strikes out as well. Six consecutive Dodgers have now whiffed. Dee Gordon grounds out, and that’s that. The Dodgers’ bullpen blows another one, and they fall to 13-6 while losing the series 2-1 to the Braves.
Tough series ahead, so let’s get some rest and get at them this weekend!