The Los Angeles Dodgers are searching for their second consecutive series sweep as they take on the Atlanta Braves in the finale of a three-game series.
The Dodgers turn to ace Clayton Kershaw, who is on the hunt for his 13th win of the season, which would put him in a tie atop Major League Baseball in wins. The lefty has won nine straight outings and his current 1.76 ERA is tops in the Majors. Current Braves players are hitting a a combined .164 against Kershaw while striking out 21 times.
The Braves counter with Julio Teheran, who last faced the Dodgers in Game 3 of the 2013 NLDS. The 23 year old has had an impressive July, going 3-1 while fanning 29 batters in five starts. Teheran will attempt to keep the Braves within striking distance of first place, as they sit 1.5 games back of the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
The Dodgers offense has been outstanding the past five games. The resurgence of outfielder Matt Kemp is one player to credit. The past seven games, Kemp is hitting .632 with 12 hits, eights RBI, and three home runs.
Kemp also had a walk-off single to beat the Braves on Wednesday. Outfielder Yasiel Puig — who’s been roaming center field for the past five games — has also surged at the plate. Puig is hitting .435 the past seven games with 10 hits; four of them going for triples.
The Braves, while not having impressive offensive team numbers, have had the ability to win close games this season. They are led by first baseman Freddie Freeman, who is hitting .282 with 15 home runs and 56 RBIs.
Rookie Tommy La Stella has taken over the second base duties and is hitting .295 in 200 at-bats this season.
Outfielder Carl Crawford returns to the lineup today after not starting Wednesday against a left-handed Braves starter. The Dodgers sit three games ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West entering play.
CF: B.J. Upton
2B: La Stella
LF: J. Upton
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Kershaw’s No-Hitter