Dodgers Top Braves 4-2 in Jerry Sands Debut

Jerry Sands is all smiles after doubling in his first career at bat (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Ted Lilly pitched seven scoreless innings and James Loney had two RBIs, leading the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the Braves. Lilly (1-2) recorded his first victory of the season scattering four hits while striking out six and did not allow a runner past second base.

Matt Guerrier pitched a perfect eighth and Jonathan Broxton pitching on back to back days, both in non save situations, struggled to close out the Braves by giving up two runs in the ninth. Broxton gave up 3 hits and 2 runs and saw his ERA balloon to 6.14, as he needed 25 pitches to get out of the 9th inning.  He is clearly not the same pitcher who was once one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball from 2006-2009.

Tim Hudson (2-2) gave up four runs and six hits in six innings and struck out four. His first inning struggles continued as the Dodgers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, with an RBI single by Matt Kemp and a two run single by Loney.  Andre Ethier extended his MLB best hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the seventh inning.

Jerry Sands, the Dodgers’ minor league hitter of the year last season, made his major league debut and was 1 for 3 with a double, sacrifice fly and two strikeouts. The 23-year-old outfielder-first baseman batted .400 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 10 games before being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque. The Dodgers designated Xavier Paul to make room for Sands, they have 10 day to trade him, unless he clears waivers, which is doubtful, if he does clear waivers he will remain with the Dodgers and be sent to AAA.

Sands hit an opposite-field double to right in his first Major League at bat off of Hudson in the first inning.  When he came to the plate for his second at bat, he was greeted with chants of  ”Jer-ry, Jer-ry, Jer-ry” (It sounded like a fight had just broken out on the Jerry Springer show) he responded by driving a sacrifice fly to deep right field for his first career RBI. The chants started up again when Sands came up in the sixth, and Hudson had clearly had enough of being shown up by the youngster as he threw a pitch right over his head.

Matt Kemp nearly jumped out of the dugout yelling at Hudson to “Don’t do that Sh** again.” It was really cool to see the Dodgers best player stand up for his newest teammate.

Lilly also had Sands back when the Braves batted in the next inning when he threw a pitch behind Nate McLouth and to the screen with two out and the bases empty. Both dugouts received a warning from home plate umpire Laz Diaz.

The Dodgers clearly had a spark with the arrival of Sands as the team jumped out to the early lead and seemed to be more upbeat than they had in the previous games this weekend. I guess ending a 5 game losing streak, along with the arrival of an exciting prospect, will no doubt lift the spirits of any team.

The Dodgers and Braves face off tomorrow with Braves rookie Brandon Beachy facing Hiroki Kuroda. Lasorda’s Lair will be blogging live from Dodger Stadium during the Wednesday and Thursday games of the series. Look for videos and photos of the Dodgers clubhouse, press box and all of the behind the scenes locations of Dodger Stadium that my press credentials will allow me to visit.

Follow Lasorda’s Lair on Twitter by clicking here

Topics: Andre Ethier, Atlanta Braves, Hiroki Kuroda, James Loney, Jerry Sands, Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Guerrier, Matt Kemp, Ted Lilly, Xavier Paul

Want more from Lasorda's Lair?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.