Dodgers resume set with Braves aiming to pad division lead
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are taking full advantage of the current woes of the San Francisco Giants and will shoot for a fifth straight win Wednesday in the middle test of a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers are three games ahead of the Giants for the NL West lead thanks to their current success. San Francisco is mired in a six-game losing streak and will try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon.
Los Angeles registered an 8-4 win Tuesday night and broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the seventh inning thanks to an RBI groundout by Carl Crawford and a two-run home run from Matt Kemp. Kemp had a two-run homer in the second inning and finished with three hits.
An Adrian Gonzalez run-scoring double in the eighth inning capped the scoring, as the Dodgers improved to 6-2 in their last eight games and pounded out 15 hits. Yasiel Puig, who went 4-for-5 and was a home run shy of the cycle, scored twice.
Brandon League picked up the win in relief, Kenley Jansen threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his 31st save and starter Josh Beckett was touched for four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
"Josh got a little better as the game went along," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "This is what we envisioned offensively. Matt's two, two-run homers were huge. We had contributions from everyone."
Zack Greinke looks to contribute when he takes the mound for Mattingly's club Wednesday and is 12-6 with a 2.74 earned run average. Greinke ended a two-game losing streak in Friday's 8-1 win at San Francisco by tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out 10 batters.
Greinke has a 6-1 record in eight home starts and is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA in three career starts against the Braves.
Atlanta had a three-game winning streak come to an end in the opener of its eight-game road trip. Anthony Varvaro gave up the go-ahead runs to suffer the setback in relief of Aaron Harang, who allowed four runs in six innings.
"That lineup is swinging pretty good over there," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had opportunities. We swung the bats well. It was one of those games, they outhit us."
Tommy La Stella had three hits and Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer for the Braves, who are still a half-game behind Washington for the NL East lead. The Nationals lost in Miami Tuesday night.
Alex Wood gets the call Wednesday for Atlanta and is 7-8 with a 3.44 ERA. He lost his last time out in a 5-2 defeat against San Diego on Friday and surrendered five runs -- four earned -- and 12 hits in five innings. Wood has allowed three or more runs three times in the last five tries.
Wood has a 3-3 road mark and has faced Los Angeles twice in relief.
Atlanta won five of seven meetings with Los Angeles last season.
07/30 10:54:53 ET