It wasn’t just the heat that was on fire in Atlanta. The Dodgers are red-hot and not even an ice cold beverage could cool down the boys in blue. The Dodgers just have the Braves number this year. The club has now won all five games they’ve played against the Atlanta club. The Dodgers beat the Braves 4-2 Tuesday evening, thanks to the power of the bloop, (two well timed bloop hits from Barney and Kemp), some solid pitching from Dan Haren, and several great defensive plays from New Dodger Darwin Barney. Carl Crawford had a great game too with three hits and a walk.Dodgers 4 10 1 Braves 2 6 1 WP-Haren-10-9 LP-Minor-4-8 SV-Jansen-33 HR-B.J. Upton-9
The slumping Braves are sinking like a stone in the NL East standings. Dan Haren continued his solid pitching winning his tenth game, as he defeated struggling left hander Mike Minor. Haren has now won ten games or more in ten consecutive seasons.
The Dodgers rolled out their “we’re five games ahead” lineup. That consisted of Scott Van Slyke at first base in place of the red-hot Adrian Gonzalez, Darwin Barney at second base in his first game as a Dodger, and Justin Turner at shortstop. They still won anyways.
Barney had perhaps what could be considered the game of his life. The new Dodger acquisition was 1 for 4 with an RBI single and made several great defensive plays. The Dodgers took the lead in the top of the second. Turner was hit by a pitch. Uribe singled, and then Barney’s pop fly bloop single to right scored Turner to make it 1-0 Dodgers.
“I love you, you love me, I am better than you defensively!”
But the Braves would tie it in the third. La Stella singled and Justin Upton’s double would score him to tie it up. Then B.J. Upton homered in the bottom of the fourth to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. That’s Upton’s sixth career homer against Haren.
The Dodgers would rally however, with two runs in the top of the fifth. Haren singled to help his own cause and Crawford’s double moved him to third. There was a grounder from Puig that scored Haren, who was running on contact. Then Matt Kemp’s RBI bloop pop fly single to right scored the third run to put the Dodgers ahead 3-2.
Bloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooop! -Number 2
The Dodgers picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Bonifacio’s two-base fielding error, and a wild pitch from David Hale gave the Dodgers their fourth run. (which was scored by guess who…..Barney!)
Dan Haren continued his solid pitching with six effective frames. Haren has definitely figured something out. He’s no longer just trying to throw fastballs by everyone. He’s been effectively mixing his pitches very well. This includes a great curve, slider, and cutter. He’s also been mixing in a splitter as well.
The veteran allowed two earned runs on six hits with seven whiffs and just one walk. The Dodger bullpen took it the rest of the way. J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson, Brandon League, and Kenley Jansen limited the Braves to just one walk over the final three innings. The Dodgers win again! Here’s how it happened down in Hotlanta…….
Mike Minor retires the Dodgers in order in the top of the first. Dan Haren does a good job of getting the Braves out in the bottom of the first. He whiffs Emilio Bonifacio, but A.J. couldn’t block the curveball and Bonifacio reaches on a strikeout wild pitch. There have been a lot of those recently. A.J. makes up for it by throwing out Bonifacio, who was trying to steal second. Haren then whiffs Tommy La Stella for the second out. Freddie Freeman sends a long drive to the wall in left, but Crawford is there to make the catch.
The Dodgers score a run in the top of the second. After Van Slyke whiffs, Justin Turner is hit in the head with a pitch. Don’t worry he would be ok, but he was hit in the ear flap. Then Uribe’s ground ball single to left sends Turner to second. A.J. Ellis whiffs for the second out. Then newest Dodger Darwin Barney’s bloop single to right falls in front of Jason Heyward to score Turner. Dodgers lead 1-0.
The Braves threaten in the bottom of the second. Upton and Heyward both pop out, but Evan Gattis reaches on a slow dribbler to third. Chris Johnson’s single to right sends Gattis to third. That was good base running as he saw Kemp was playing Johnson deep. B.J. Upton is walked to load the bases. Fortunately Haren gets Minor to foul out to Kemp. The Dodgers get out of it.
Nothing doing for the Dodgers in the top of the third. Crawford walks. But Puig flies out and Kemp grounds into a double play. In the bottom of the third, the Braves tie the score thanks to some pathetic outfield defense from the Dodgers. A one-out Tommy La Stella single, and after Freeman lines out to left, Justin Upton’s pop fly double scores La Stella, who was running on the play. Puig tried to make a flying superman like catch, but came up just short. So that ties the game at 1-1.
In the top of the fourth, Van Slyke pops out. Turner singles to center. Uribe singles Turner to second. But A.J. flies to center and Turner is doubled off of second to end the inning. Where the hell Turner was on that play I couldn’t tell you.
B.J. Upton’s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth puts the Braves ahead by a score of 2-1. In the top of the fifth, the Dodgers would rally back. Haren a one out ground ball single. Then Crawford doubles him to third. Yasiel Puig’s chopper to third scores Haren as he was running on contact. Puig is thrown out by a step though. Matt Kemp drives in the third run with a pop fly single to shallow right. La Stella was a bit out of position and tries to make a running over the shoulder catch, but drops the ball. Crawford scores to put the Dodgers back on top 3-2!
Haren whiffs Bonifacio and Freeman for a 123 bottom of the fifth inning. Minor returns the favor by setting the Dodgers down 123 in the top of the sixth.
Haren holds the lead in the bottom of the sixth. J. Upton flies out. Heyward singles, but Haren whiffs Gattis and Johnson to end the frame. Dodgers lead 3-2 after six.
With two outs in the seventh, Crawford singles. That knocks Minor out of the game. Right hander David Carpenter relieves him. He whiffs Puig to end the inning. Minor leaves losing, so he can’t win it, and can either lose or have nothing to do with it.
Brian Wilson is called on to pitch the bottom of the seventh. He does a great job with a little help from Barney. He whiffs B.J. Upton on a foul tip. Ryan Doumit whiffs on a called strike three. Barney makes a great play ranging to his left to throw out Bonifacio. Wilson covers the bag to get the third out.
J.P. Howell is in to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gives up a single to La Stella. Barney had made another great play, but Van Slyke couldn’t make pick it. But Howell gets Freeman to ground into a 3-6-3 double play! Mattingly hooks Howell and brings in Brandon League in a double-switch. Adrian Gonzalez comes in for Van Slyke at first base. League walks Justin Upton, but whiffs Heyward to end the inning and preserve the Dodger lead.
The Dodgers get an insurance run in the top of the ninth to make it a 4-2 lead. Barney reached on a two-base fielding error by Bonifacio and then scores on a David hale wild pitch. Enter Kenley Jansen for the bottom of the ninth. Barney makes another great play on a Gattis pop out. Johnson whiffs, and Justin Upton is struck out as well to end the game. Dodgers win 4-2!
The Dodgers now improve to 69-52 and a season high 17 games above .500. A Giant’s loss means they would be six games ahead in the NL West. The Boys in Blue are firing on all cylinders now.