Dan Haren did not flirt with perfection in the Dodgers’ 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, though his attack on plausibility continued.
Haren is the right-hander whose grasp on a rotation spot was hanging by a fingertip after he went 0-5 with a 10.03 earned-run average over a recent five-game stretch. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, he took a perfect game into the sixth inning in his last start and ended up holding the Angels to one run on three hits.
At Turner Field, Haren doubled the amount of runs allowed, but he still pitched well – or at least well enough to keep Kevin Correia in the bullpen.
Haren (10-9) went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out seven. After sporting that double-digit ERA in five outings, he’s managed a 2.03 ERA in his last two starts.
The Dodgers' offense didn’t exactly knock Atlanta starter Mike Minor around, but it was enough to leave them 5-0 against the Braves this season.
Justin Turner, whose two errors at shortstop Friday led to a loss in Milwaukee, was back at short and was hit by a Minor pitch with one out in the second. A single from Juan Uribe moved him to second, and another by Darwin Barney – making his first start at second for the Dodgers – scored him.
A single by Tommy La Stella and double from Justin Upton tied it in the third, and a mammoth home run by B.J. Upton in the fourth put Atlanta up 2-1.
But the Dodgers regained the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth. Haren actually started the rally with a one-out single and was doubled to third by Carl Crawford. Yasiel Puig bounced out to third, but Haren scored the tying run. A Matt Kemp bloop single scored Crawford.
The Dodgers added an insurance run in the ninth against right-hander David Hale, thanks partially to more ragged play by the slumping Braves. An error by shortstop Emilio Bonifacio allowed Barney to advance to second, and an Adrian Gonzalez groundout moved him to third.
A wild pitch from Hale allowed a hustling Barney to score.
The Dodgers’ bullpen backed up Haren with three solid innings. Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell, Brandon League and Kenley Jansen held the Braves without a hit in the final three innings. Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 33rd save.