And on they roll, with tough comebacks and walk-offs and a little of everything.
The Dodgers had to work hard, and then work hard again, to win their fifth consecutive game with a 3-2 victory in 10 innings over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
Matt Kemp is now officially rolling. He homered, walked in the eighth and scored what was then the go-ahead run, and then finally drove in the winning run in the 10th.
With Zack Greinke giving them another outstanding start, the Dodgers maintained their three-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West and pushed their league-best record to 61-47. It’s the first time this season they’ve been 14 games over .500.
Pinch-hitter Justin Turner led off the 10th with a single against right-hander David Hale and took second on a wild pitch. Kemp then bounced the winning hit into left for the Dodgers' third walk-off victory this season.
Kemp also started the rally that briefly put the Dodgers ahead in the eighth with a two-out walk against ex-Angel Jordan Walden. Pinch-hitter Carl Crawford singled him to second.
That left it to Juan Uribe, who sent a hard-hit bouncer up the middle. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a nice diving stop of the ball, sprang to his feet on the outfield grass and fired home, but not in time to get Kemp.
Greinke struck out a career-high 13 and lowered his earned-run average to 2.65. He walked only one, allowed just five hits and left the game after eight innings leading 2-1.
But on this night closer Kenley Jansen could not get the job done. Jansen gave up a leadoff ninth-inning home run to Justin Upton that tied the score, 2-2, and sent the game into extra innings.
It was only the fourth blown save of the year for Jansen and his first since June 20. He had saved 11 consecutive games. He had not given up a home run since June 14.
Both teams scored a solo run in the second, and then started scrambling.
The Braves started it with a leadoff double by Evan Gattis. He took third on a Chris Johnson groundout and then scored when Simmons singled off the glove of a diving Dee Gordon.
Gordon got his glove on the ball hit up the middle, but couldn’t bring it in. Since Gordon was diving with his back to first and would have had a difficult play even if he had clearly nabbed it, Simmons’ bouncer was ruled a hit as Gattis scored.
The Dodgers quickly tied it when Kemp led off the bottom of the inning with a solo home run off Alex Wood that was hit several rows up in the left-center pavilion.
Kemp had gone 86 at-bats without a home run until hitting two Tuesday. His homer Wednesday suddenly gave him three homers in five at-bats.
Greinke recovered from the second inning to take control.
But Wood, 23, matched Greinke the rest of his night. He ended up going seven strong innings, allowing just one run on six hits and two walks; he struck out eight.
The Dodgers are 4-8 in extra-inning games.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times