It's summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime …
School has yet to open its doors for some, so enjoy the summer while you can. Seems the Dodgers are.
The Dodgers completed their nine-game road trip Thursday afternoon with a 6-4 victory over the Braves and could not have enjoyed themselves much more if they'd been hanging out at the beach, cold beverage in hand, basking in a bright sun and ocean breeze.
The Dodgers took three of four from the Braves to complete their road trip with a 6-3 mark that increased the 2½-game division lead they began the trip with to 5½ games.
The only thing that made it less than the summer trip of their dreams was losing two of three to the Brewers, and now they return home Friday to meet the Brewers again and try to make some amends.
Thursday they received another very useful start from Roberto Hernandez, more strong play in the leadoff spot from Dee Gordon (four runs), continued clutch hitting from Adrian Gonzalez (three RBI), three more hits from Yasiel Puig, an unexpected home run from Drew Butera and a nervous, four-out save from Kenley Jansen.
And their suntan was perfect.
Brian Wilson made things interesting when he was charged with three runs in the eighth, but Jansen recovered after allowing a run-scoring single to record the final four shaky outs and earn his 34th save.
The Dodgers opened the scoring against ex-teammate Aaron Harang when Gordon did his leadoff thing, getting on board with a bunt single, stealing second and scoring on a Puig single.
In the second, Miguel Rojas worked a walk and Butera drove his second home run of the season, and in the third Gordon walked, stole second and scored on a Gonzalez base hit to give Hernandez a 4-0 lead.
After a pair of Hernandez walks in the fourth led to Atlanta's first run, the Dodgers scored one more in the fifth after Gordon and Puig singled, and Gonzalez lined a run-scoring base hit.
Hernandez (7-8) earned his first victory with the Dodgers by throwing six solid innings. He allowed one run on just three hits.
He did walk four but struck out five. In his only previous start since being acquired from the Phillies, he also allowed only one run in six innings.
The Braves made it interesting when they pulled within 5-4 in the eighth, Wilson struggling to throw strikes. He gave up three consecutive hits, Justin Upton's double driving in two. Wilson got two outs before Jansen came in and allowed a run-scoring single to Andrelton Simmons, and then striking out pinch-hitter Evan Gattis.
The Dodgers added an insurance run in the ninth when Gonzalez doubled in Gordon. The day's three RBIs gave Gonzalez the National League lead in that department with 83.
The Braves put runners at second and third with two outs in the ninth, but Jansen struck out B.J. Upton to end the game, and a nice summer trip.