Postgame: Braves 2, Dodgers 1

The Braves beat the Dodgers 2-1 in 10 innings tonight. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

For the second consecutive night, the Braves won it in extras — this time in the tenth on a Kelly Johnson two-run homer off Guillermo Mota. Andre Ethier hit an RBI double but Matt Kemp grounded out with runners on second and first to end the game.

The game had been scoreless until the tenth, as both Clayton Kershaw (7 innings, 2 hits, 10 strikeouts) and Kenshin Kawakami (7 innings, 4 hits) shut down the opposition. The Braves’ Kris Medlen got the win by pitching two scoreless innings in relief.

The Braves had three hits in the game. No typo. A double by Ryan Church to lead off the game, a Garrett Anderson single in the fourth inning, and Johnson’s homer.

ETC…ETC:

Ronald Belisario made a surprising early return from the disabled list and was effective in pitching part of the eighth. He walked one but got two outs before being removed for George Sherrill.

Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 to lower his average to .302. Tony Abreu, making his first start in the big leagues since 2007, went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Tomorrow’s starter still hasn’t been announced — but it’s likely to be Jeff Weaver. Weaver last pitched on Monday against the Brewers. He’s made five starts this season.

The Dodgers have won just six of their last 16 games. They’re currently 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees for the best record in baseball.

ON DECK:

The Dodgers will attempt to salvage a 2-2 series split with the Braves tomorrow, with Javier Vasquez (9-7, 2.99) facing a TBD starter for the Blue at 1:10 p.m.

Postgame: Braves 9, Dodgers 5 (12 innings)

The Braves beat the Dodgers 9-5 in 12 innings late last night. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

The Braves won it in the 12th on an RBI base hit that unlocked the 5-5 tie, then broke it open with a three-run homer by Ryan Church. Jonathan Broxton, who entered the game with a 5-4 lead in the ninth, blew the save.

The loss went to Ramon Troncoso, who simply wasn’t effective beginning the 12th inning. Scott Elbert, the Sunday starter (as announced today), then entered in relief and gave up the bomb to Church.

Chad Billingsley pitched six strong innings but again exited early due to injury, this time with a left hamstring strain termed mild. Sunday he left early with a right hamstring strain. He allowed four hits and three walks in his six innings of work.

Only two Dodgers had multiple-hit performances, as Casey Blake went 3-for-6 with a home run and Russell Martin went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .271.

ETC…ETC:

Only James McDonald shined out of the bullpen tonight, as he pitched two perfect innings. Hong-Chih Kuo had his first bad outing since his return from the disabled list, getting only one of three batters out. George Sherrill wasn’t charged with any runs but gave up three hits in 1 2/3 innings.

It could be speculated that Broxton blew the save in part due to a fan that ran onto the field in the top of the ninth. From that point, he walked Nate McLouth and wasn’t in control.

Manny Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a walk before leaving in a double switch to start the ninth. Andre Ethier went 0-for-2 with, count ‘em, four walks.

ON DECK:

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.89) against Braves RHP Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4.38).

Postgame: Dodgers 9, Braves 1

The Dodgers beat the Braves 9-1 today at Turner Field to win the three-game set in Atlanta. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

19 hits for the Dodgers tonight, as Matt Kemp (3-for-5, HR, 5 RBI) and James Loney (3-for-6, 2 RBI) shined on national television.

Chad Billingsley threw five solid innings but exited early with an apparent right hamstring cramp. He attempted to convince Joe Torre that he could stay in, so things don’t look too serious.

Jair Jurrjens has been one of the best hurlers in baseball thus far, but the Dodgers got hold of him pretty well in the fifth. He ended up with a line of 10 hits, two walks, and four runs in five innings.

ETC…ETC:

When Jason Schmidt comes up to pinch hit and knocks a single, you know you’re going good. Schmidt pinch hit for Billingsley in the sixth and eventually came around to score.

Braves outfielder Matt Diaz on Ramon Troncoso: “I don’t know what the role that last guy has on their team. But I know he has a 2.00 ERA and nasty stuff. He’s not their setup guy and he’s not their closer. So when you’ve got that guy just getting innings, that’s a pretty deep bullpen.”

Casey Blake hurt his hand lifting weights over the weekend and was unavailable today, leading to a Mark Loretta start. X-rays on Blake were reportedly negative. Loretta had his first two-hit game since June 25.

Scott Elbert pitched well in relief of Billingsley, going 2 2/3 innings and being charged with just one run. George Sherrill replaced Guillermo Mota in a double switch and got Chipper Jones to fly out to end an Atlanta mini-rally.

ON DECK:

Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 2.76) and Manny Parra (5-8, 6.50) meet tomorrow at Dodger Stadium.

Postgame: Braves 4, Dodgers 3

The Braves beat the Dodgers 4-3 today at Turner Field. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Randy Wolf turned in his seventh consecutive quality start but took the loss again, falling to 5-6 after allowing nine hits in his five innings of work.

The Dodgers had two leads early on, 2-1 in the fourth and 3-2 in the sixth, but failed to hold on to both.

Former Dodger Derek Lowe essentially matched Wolf, allowing three runs in six innings as well. The Braves’ bullpen shut the Blue down. Rafael Soriano blew Casey Blake, James Loney, Matt Kemp away in the ninth to get his 16th save.

ETC…ETC:

The Dodgers had only six hits as Manny Ramirez continued to struggle, going 0-for-3 to lower his average to .310 and .182 since the pinch-hit grand slam.

Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo threw a scoreless inning. He hasn’t given up a hit in 3 2/3 innings since returning.

Reliever Ronald Belisario threw a simulated game today, and looks to be on pace to return sometime in mid-August.

ON DECK:

Chad Billingsley (10-6, 3.96) and Jair Jurrjens (9-7, 2.69) start tomorrow at 5:15 P.M. PST.

Pregame: Dodgers at Braves

Tonight’s lineups for the 4:35 P.M. start at Turner Field:

Dodgers
Furcal, SS
Ethier, RF
Ramirez, LF
Blake, 3B
Loney, 1B
Kemp, CF
Martin, C
Hudson, 2B
Schmidt, P

Braves
McLouth, CF
Johnson, 2B
Jones, 3B
McCann, C
Anderson, LF
Canizares, 1B (replacing Casey Kotchman, who was dealt today to the Red Sox for A. LaRoche)
Diaz, RF
Hernandez, SS
Hanson, P

George Sherrill will be available to make his Dodgers debut tonight.