While Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t have his best stuff Friday night, the Dodgers were on track to pick up an important road win, before the 26th ranked bullpen completely imploded.
The Dodgers got on the board first with a Dee Gordon RBI groundout, but quickly found themselves trailing 2-1 after the Braves got an RBI groundout from Justin Upton and an RBI single from Freddie Freeman.
Regardless, the Dodgers offense was clicking as they responded with two runs in the top of the fourth and in the sixth, Scott Van Slyke delivered a towering home run to deep center.
Unfortunately, things turned from good to bad as Ryu’s command got the best of him. He tossed five innings and struck out five, but issued five walks.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Matt Guerrier relieved Ryu and got B.J. Upton to strike out. After a single to Jordan Schafer, Luis Cruz failed to snag a hard line drive to third, giving the Braves runners on first and second with one out.
Don Mattingly started to play musical chairs as he went to Paco Rodriguez against recently activated Jayson Heyward. Heyward proceeded to walk, setting the stage for Rodriguez to face the Braves best hitter Justin Upton. Upton took a Rodriguez pitch way out of Turner Field and cleared the bases as the Braves took a 6-4 lead.
The lead was plenty for the Braves bullpen as Carl Crawford committed the Dodgers second error in the seventh inning, extending the Braves lead to 8-4.
Van Slyke hit another home run off left handed reliever Eric O’Flaherty as Craig Kimbrel picked up the save. Starter Paul Maholm picked up the win after tossing six innings allowing two earned runs while striking out three.
Matt Kemp had his 14-game hitting streak snapped as he and Adrian Gonzalez went a combined 0-9. The bullpen and costly errors did in the Dodgers after they led 4-2 midway through the game.
They’ll have Chris Capuano on the hill tomorrow as he opposes Kris Medlen as the Dodgers hope to take the second game of the series in Atlanta.