Dodgers 8, Braves 2

Lost in the shuffle of another superb performance by Russell Martin (four hits, extending his hitting streak to 12 games) and Matt Kemp (towering two-run homer that turned into the game-winning hit and traveled 436 feet) is the fact that Joe Beimel continues to come through in key situations. This time, he needed a helping hand from Jeff Kent, who dived to his left to rob Jarrod Saltalamacchia (thankfully, he doesn’t play for the Dodgers, so I don’t have to type his name on a regular basis) of a two-run single and end the inning. Beimel has now inherited 25 baserunners this season. Two of them have scored. Two. He also has retired the first batter in 30 of his 41 appearances. This guy pitches in a role that hardly gets noticed — unless, of course, he blows a game, in which case we would all be at his locker immediately afterward wanting to know what went wrong. But suffice to say, he is one of the Dodgers’ MVPs for the first half — even if he did look ridiculous striking out against John Smoltz in his first plate appearance of the season in the bottom of the sixth, when he looked about as comfortable standing at the plate in a batting helmet as, well … I don’t know, he just didn’t look comfortable. … Dodgers go to 46-35 and stay a game behind the Pods. The Snakes fell to 2 1/2 back.

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