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Kevin Correia gets comfortable with Dodgers in 6-2 win over Braves

Kevin Correia wins in his Dodgers debut in 6-2 victory over Atlanta Braves

ON THE MOUND: Acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Twins two days earlier, Kevin Correia pitched a gem of a game in a spot start for the Dodgers. Correia earned a victory by limiting the Braves to a run and four hits over six innings. A frequent victim of meager run support with the Twins, Correia said he was emboldened knowing he was backed by a potent Dodgers lineup. “It’s definitely a confidence builder,” Correia said. “It’s one of the best lineups I’ve pitched in front of.” The Dodgers scored three times in the sixth inning to overcome a 1-0 deficit. “I knew these guys could score runs and I knew they were coming,” Correia said. As well as Correia pitched, Manager Don Mattingly doesn’t plan to start him any time soon. Mattingly said Correia will be used as a long reliever, similar to how Paul Maholm was used before he went down with a season-ending knee injury.

AT THE PLATE: Carl Crawford was three for four with two runs batted in and a run scored. This was the kind of performance Mattingly envisioned when he explained why Crawford, and not Andre Ethier, was the Dodgers’ first-choice left fielder. Crawford started 13 of the Dodgers’ last 17 games but batted only .196 over that stretch. Ethier started only three times in that period, including once in center field. “Carl, before he got hurt, was probably swinging the bat better than anyone we had,” Mattingly said. “I feel like Carl’s going to get back to that.” When Crawford was placed on the disabled list on May 28 because of a sprained left ankle, he was batting .267 with four home runs, 18 runs batted in and nine steals in 44 games. “If you really look at our numbers, he had as high a percentage of balls hit on the nose as anyone we’ve got,” Mattingly said. Mattingly said he also liked how Crawford adds speed and versatility to the lineup. That has made the left-handed-hitting Crawford the Dodgers’ first-choice left fielder on days they face a right-handed pitcher. Right-handed-hitting Scott Van Slyke draws the majority of starts at the position when the Dodgers face a left-handed pitcher.

EXTRA BASES: To create a place for Correia on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned right-hander Pedro Baez to triple-A Albuquerque. … Yasiel Puig was back in the lineup after taking a day off to rest a sore back. Puig was two for four with a walk and two runs scored. … Juan Uribe was given a day off and replaced by Justin Turner at third base.

UP NEXT: Dan Haren (9-9, 4.57) will face Mike Minor (4-7, 5.42) and the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Tuesday at 4 p.m. PDT. On the air: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.

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