Simmons and Maybin help Braves beat Dodgers 3-2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Atlanta Braves were eager to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With a few timely hits and contributions from a wide cast of characters, the Braves managed to do just that.
Andrelton Simmons had two hits and scored the go-ahead run on Adam Liberatore’s wild pitch in the eighth inning, Cameron Maybin homered to continue his hot month and the Braves beat the Dodgers 3-2 on Wednesday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
“It’s a huge win,” Maybin said. “Those guys are playing great baseball this month. To leave here getting a win, we got to be excited about it. It was a good team win and it was a good way to finish up.”
With the game tied 1-1, Simmons led off the eighth with a single against Chris Hatcher (1-4) and, after making his way to third base, came home when Liberatore uncorked a wild pitch over the head of catcher A.J. Ellis with two outs.
Maybin had two hits to raise his average to .306 in May and Nick Markakis added an RBI double in the eighth that proved to be the winning margin for the Braves (23-23). Juan Uribe went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his Atlanta debut.
Alex Wood (3-2) gave up one run in seven innings for the win and Jason Grilli pitched around an Alex Guerrero homer in the ninth for his 14th save.
It was just the seventh loss for the Dodgers (28-18) in 28 home games.
“It was a good ballgame, a nice pitching performance all around,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It was nice to get one here in LA. It’s a tough place to get a W.”
Maybin’s solo homer in the third opened the scoring, but Dodger starter Zack Greinke settled into a groove immediately after and came away with a no-decision.
Greinke retired 11 straight after Maybin’s homer, six via strikeout, before giving way to Yimi Garcia in the top of the seventh. He finished with three hits and one run allowed, two walks and nine strikeouts.
Greinke also legged out an infield single and stole a base, the fourth steal in his 12-year career.
“The last three or four games I actually feel like I’ve been doing a little worse,” Greinke said. “There were some situations where I didn’t execute.”
The Dodgers tied it in the fourth when Justin Turner’s grounder to the right side bounced off the glove of diving second baseman Jace Peterson in shallow right field, allowing Jimmy Rollins to score from second.
That was all they’d manage off Braves lefty Wood. He gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out six.
“Mechanically and in terms of all my stuff it was no doubt the best I’ve been,” Wood said. “Now it’s just about going out my next start and repeating it.”
Liberatore entered with one out and runners on the corners in the eighth and, after inducing Maybin to fly out, let fly the wild pitch high that allowed Simmons to score the go-ahead run. Markakis followed with an RBI ground-rule double that fell just inside the chalk in the left-field corner that made it 3-1.
The Dodgers made things interesting in the ninth.
Guerrero launched a one-out homer over the right field fence off Grilli to cut it to 3-2 and pinch-hitter Andre Ethier followed with a broken bat single into left field. But Grilli got Ellis to ground into a forceout and pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo, acquired by the Dodgers from the Braves just before the game in exchange for Uribe, to fly out to center end it.
“Grilli’s a veteran guy who doesn’t spook,” Gonzalez said. “You might get a run off him but he knows what he’s doing on the mound.”
LOVE FOR URIBE
The trade sending Uribe to the Braves was finalized Wednesday and prior to the game his image was put on the scoreboard. He received a standing ovation from the Dodger Stadium crowd as the video board flashed the words “Thanks Juan”.
He also received a loud ovation when his name was announced in the starting lineup and before his first at-bat in the first inning.
Uribe hit .260 with 28 home runs in four-plus seasons with the Dodgers and became a fan favorite.
Dodgers: OF Scott Van Slyke is day-to-day with what manager Don Mattingly called a “tweaked back.” He was not available for Wednesday’s game.
Braves: 3B Chris Johnson (fractured left hand) was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. He’d been on the DL since May 1.
Braves: RHP Shelby Miller (5-1, 1.80 ERA) kicks off a four-game series at San Francisco on Thursday. Miller’s pitched two complete-game shutouts in his last four starts.
Dodgers: RHP Mike Bolsinger (3-0, 0.71) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series at St. Louis on Friday. Bolsinger’s thrown 19 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts.
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