The Los Angeles Dodgers returned to Chavez Ravine for the first time since July 13 and played their first game against the Atlanta Braves since the 2013 NLDS.
Josh Beckett took the mound for the second time since coming off the disabled list and struggled once again. B.J. Upton singled off Beckett’s glove in the first inning and stole third after he took second on a walk.
Upton scored on a sacrifice fly to center, just beating Yasiel Puig’s throw. With the Dodgers still trailing 1-0 in the second inning, former Dodger Aaron Harang walked Carl Crawford to lead off the inning.
Crawford then stole second base and scored on Matt Kemp’s two-run opposite field home run to put the Dodgers ahead, 2-1. Juan Uribe followed Kemp’s homer with a double, but was stranded. The Dodgers lead didn’t last long as Beckett surrendered a two-run home run to Freddie Freeman in the third inning.
The back-and-forth scoring subsided until the fifth inning when the Braves added to their lead behind an Andrelton Simmons RBI double. Simmons was the final batter Beckett faced as he gave way to Jamey Wright after going just 4.1 innings.
Already with a single and double on the night, Puig hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the fifth. He came home on Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI double, who then scored the tying run on Crawford’s RBI single.
Wright kept the Braves off the board in the sixth and Jamey Wright followed suit in the seventh. A home run shy of hitting for the cycle, Puig led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield single.
Gonzalez’s single to right put runners on the corners with none out for Crawford. The left fielder gave the Dodgers a 5-4 lead with his second RBI single on the night. Kemp extended the lead with his second two-run home run of the game and the Dodgers led 7-4 going to the eighth.
J.P. Howell struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth, then allowed a single and walked to Freeman to bring Justin Upton to plate. With Upton representing the tying run, Kenley Jansen was summoned out of the bullpen to complete a four-out save.
Jansen recorded the third out in the eighth and the Dodger offense went back to work in the bottom half of the inning. With Gordon standing on second base, Puig struck out in his final attempt at the cycle.
Gonzalez then hit his second RBI double of the night and the Dodgers took an 8-4 lead. Jansen returned to the mound in the ninth and struck out the first two hitters. John Schafer singled and Simmons drew a walk before Jansen retired the next batter for the sixth four-out save of his career.
With the win, the Dodgers moved ahead of the San Francisco Giants by 3.0 games in the NL West standings. The Dodgers also earned their first four-game winning streak of the season.
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