L.A. Dodgers beat hapless Braves again
Aug 13, 2014 | 290 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Atlanta Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella tries to chase down a ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp in the fifth inning Tuesday, in Atlanta. AP photo
Atlanta Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella tries to chase down a ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp in the fifth inning Tuesday, in Atlanta. AP photo
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Dodgers are getting solid performances out of their starting pitchers.

Pretty good hitting, too.

Dan Haren pitched six innings and sparked the go-ahead rally with a single, leading Los Angeles to another win over the skidding Atlanta Braves, 4-2 on Tuesday night.

It was the second night in a row the Dodgers got production out of the ninth spot in the order. The previous night, Kevin Correia had two hits and scored a run.

“I was hoping I didn’t get thrown out,” Haren (10-9) quipped about his hit to right-center field. “It takes me about eight seconds to get to first.”

After allowing a fourth-inning homer to B.J. Upton that put the Braves up 2-1, Haren reached base with one out in the fifth. Carl Crawford followed with a double, sending Haren to third, and the pitcher scored the tying run on Yasiel Puig’s grounder to third.

“Puig hit the ball and I wasn’t sure if it was going to the pitcher,” Haren said. “I just went!”

Matt Kemp hit a little blooper to right that just got over the glove of second baseman Tommy La Stella, bringing home Crawford.

That was enough for the Dodgers.

Mike Minor (4-8) matched his longest outing of the past month after being skipped his previous turn in the rotation. The Atlanta lefty went 6 2-3 innings, allowing eight hits and three runs.

Kenley Jansen earned his 33rd save.

The Braves lost for the 11th time in their last 13 games, including two straight to the Dodgers.

With Los Angeles up 1-0, Upton drove his ninth homer of the season deep into left-field seats. It was his sixth career homer off the Dodgers right-hander; Upton has no more than three homers against anyone else.

Minor came into the game with a 5.42 ERA, having surrendered nine hits, two homers and five runs in his most recent start Aug. 1, a 10-1 loss at San Diego.

“I changed some things mechanically, with some of my grips. I thought my stuff was moving better,” Minor said. “It was encouraging.”

The Dodgers padded their lead in the ninth without a hit. Braves shortstop Emilio Bonifacio botched an easy grounder, and Darwin Barney hustled all the way to second on the error. Barney moved to third on a groundout, and scored on David Hale’s wild pitch.

Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon didn’t start because manager Don Mattingly wants to make sure the slender infielder doesn’t get too worn down in the heat of summer. “Trying to keep him at 170 (pounds), basically,” Mattingly said before the game. Gordon struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh.

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons took grounders before the game and continues to show improvement from a sprained left ankle. But he missed his sixth straight game, with Bonifacio starting in his place. La Stella, who had to leave Monday’s game in the second inning, was back in the lineup after his right hamstring cramped because of dehydration.

Dodgers left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5) goes for his fifth straight win tonight. Since July 13, he has allowed only seven earned runs in 33 innings (1.91 ERA) while limiting opposing hitters to a .198 average. He has 32 strikeouts and only four walks during his winning streak.

The Braves’ Ervin Santana (11-6) will also be looking to stretch his winning streak to five in a row. He has worked at least six innings in his last 13 starts, and hasn’t gone less than five innings in any start this season.