Dodgers finally back into swing of things with 6-3 win over Braves

Dodgers finally back into swing of things with 6-3 win over Braves
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier lines a single against the Marlins during the fifth inning. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

See, the Dodgers can score runs. Sometimes lots of them. Like in Monday’s 6-3 victory over the Braves.

It marked the first time the Dodgers had scored more than three runs in a game in 10 days ... and the only time they'd even scored three during that stretch was in Sunday's 11-3 loss to San Diego.


It took them a while to get going Monday – it was a 2-2 game going into the bottom of the eighth – but then the runs flowed, just like the good ol' days, back when they led all of baseball in home runs earlier this year.

Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins all homered in the eighth inning, and suddenly the Dodgers had a comfortable cushion.

They overcame Scott Van Slyke's tough day hitting with the bases loaded and a rough game of bunting by Rollins to present rookie Adam Liberatore with the first victory of his career.

Ethier led off the eighth inning with his sixth home run of the season, this one off Nick Masset, who would surrender all three. After A.J. Ellis walked, Guerrero homered to left. It was Guerrero’s eighth home run in 81 at-bats -- and his third this season as a pinch-hitter. Then with two outs, Rollins homered to right, his fifth of the year.

The Dodgers were flexing muscle again and led by four.

When Chris Hatcher gave up two hits to start off the  ninth, the Dodgers called on Kenley Jansen, who got the final three outs to earn his fourth save in nine days, one inherited runner scoring on a groundout. Jansen already leads the team in saves and has not been charged with a run in his first six games.

The Dodgers started things quickly in the bottom of the first inning when Joc Pederson led off with a double to center field. Rollins put down the first of his two poor bunts, however, and Pederson was thrown out at third by catcher Christian Bethancourt.

With two outs, Adrian Gonzalez singled to left-center and Rollins sprinted to third. Atlanta starter Williams Perez hit Justin Turner with a pitch to load the bases. Ethier worked a walk to force in the first run, but Van Slyke popped up on a 3-1 pitch to end the threat. Van Slyke also bounced into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the third -- on a 3-and-0 pitch.

Brett Anderson held the 1-0 lead until the fourth, when Jonny Gomes singled, took second on Andrelton Simmons’ ground out to first and scored on Pedro Ciriaco’s base hit.

The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Cameron Maybin worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on an Anderson wild pitch. That proved costly when Howie Kendrick somehow could not get his glove on a bouncer Freddie Freeman hit to him on the outfield grass, with the Dodgers in a defensive shift. The ball was ruled a hit and Maybin scored.

Perez, making his second start of the season, left after six innings. He allowed one run, seven hits and a walk, striking out seven.

Atlanta clung to its lead until the seventh. With left-hander Luis Avilan on the mound, pinch-hitter Juan Uribe worked just his fifth walk of the season and Pederson – who was hitting .167 against left-handers – dumped a broken-bat single into left.

Rollins again failed to get a good bunt down, bouncing it right to Avilan, who threw out Uribe trying to take third. Kendrick walked to load the bases. Gonzalez bounced out softly to first but it was good enough to score Pederson and give Gonzalez career RBI No. 999.

Anderson left after seven innings, having allowed two runs, seven hits and two walks (one intentional) with three strikeouts.