Sports Dodgers

Dan Haren, Carl Crawford continue turnaround in Dodgers' 4-2 win

The Dodgers beat the Braves, 4-2, as Dan Haren goes six strong innings and Carl Crawford gets three hits
Haren and Crawford, who both had struggled, reward Manager Don Mattingly for his patience shown in them

Silence the alarm bells. Dan Haren is fine. So is Carl Crawford.

Haren won his second consecutive start Tuesday night, as Crawford reached base four times and scored a run in the Dodgers' 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

For the Dodgers, it was their sixth win in eight games. For the recently-slumping Haren and Crawford, it was an opportunity for them to reward Manager Don Mattingly for his patience.

"The one thing you can't ever question is if Danny is going to be ready, if he's going to give you everything he's got," Mattingly said. "It's going to be everything that Danny has when he pitches. That's something you can always be confident in.

"Carl, in a sense, is the same way."

Haren (10-9) held the Braves to two runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

The performance followed the gem he pitched six days earlier in Anaheim, where he limited the Angels to one run and three hits over 7 1/3 innings.

Haren went into the game against the Angels on a five-start losing streak. He averaged fewer than five innings per start in that stretch.

The slump offered Haren a new appreciation for winning.

"As my career has gone on, I feel like the losing has hurt more and the winning hasn't been as sweet as it was," he said. "These last two, I'm definitely enjoying."

Haren said he has made minor adjustments to his delivery.

In Mattingly's view, the changes have resulted in more late movement on his pitches.

"He's not hitting a lot of barrels," Mattingly said.

Haren said he received a lift from a conversation he had with Mattingly in the middle of his rut. In the wake of loss in Pittsburgh, Haren was called to the front of the team's charter plane and told his next start would be skipped.

"He pumped me up there a little bit," Haren said. "He said I'd done a good job for the team. I'd gotten a bunch of wins for them and they feel good with me. That felt good."

Around that time, Mattingly also decided Crawford, and not Andre Ethier, would be his primary left fielder.

But Crawford didn't hit right away. From July 19 to Aug. 3, the Dodgers played 14 games and Crawford started 11 of them. He batted .130.

Mattingly stuck with Crawford, saying he was bound to get find a rhythm.

"C's the kind of guy, when he gets hot, he gets hot," Mattingly said.

Crawford is batting .433 over the Dodgers' last nine games.

He has collected multiple hits in each of his last three games. The last time he had consecutive multi-hit games was on May 13-14.

On Tuesday, Crawford was three for four with a walk and played a significant part in the Dodgers' two-run fifth inning that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. With one out, Crawford doubled to advance Haren to third base. Haren scored on a groundout by Yasiel Puig. Crawford plated the go-ahead run on a single by Matt Kemp.

Crawford said he was grateful Mattingly kept him in the lineup.

"It helps a lot because you're thinking like that as well, that at some point, you're going to get hot if you keep playing," Crawford said. "I guess that's where we are right now. Hopefully, I can keep it going. It feels like I'm right there. You're just ready to turn that corner at any time."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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