Dodgers can’t close the deal, as Braves rally to 4-2 victory
Not even Matt Kemp, destroyer of worlds, was enough this time. Not even Ted Lilly, leader of the free world in ERA, could get it done.
Not with Javy Guerra blowing the save in the ninth by allowing five consecutive singles in what became, for the Dodgers, a disheartening 4-2 loss to the Braves Wednesday night before an announced crowd of 26,345.
Guerra also took the loss Tuesday, and after making good on his first five save opportunities, is opening the door for Kenley Jansen supporters. In his last five games, he has gone 0-2 and converted two of four save opportunities.
He left Wednesday’s game with more than a bruised ego. After giving up a one-out single to Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann lined an infield hit that appeared to go off Guerra’s cheek.
He stayed in the game, but then gave up run-scoring hits to Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward.
Guerra (1-3) then left, his ERA up to 5.59.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was looking at the Braves as something of a measuring stick for his team, and he could not have been overly excited by the results. The victory gave the Braves two victories in the three-game series.
The game was scoreless after three innings when Martin Prado led off the fourth with a scorching line drive that shortstop Dee Gordon made a terrific diving, mid-air catch on.
Freeman followed with a double to the wall in center and scored on a single by Uggla to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta right-hander Brandon Beachy made it hold up untilTony Gwynn Jr. led off the bottom of the sixth with a single off the glove of third baseman Jones. Gwynn stole second, advanced to third on single by A.J. Ellis and scored on Gordon’s groundout to second.
It was still a 1-1 game as a light rain briefly began to fall in the bottom of the sixth and Kemp led off. He jumped all over a 2-2 Beachy change-up, sending it halfway up the left-field pavilion. Think that one counted as pulling the ball.
For Kemp, the 10th home run of the season matched him with Gary Sheffield for the most ever by a Dodger in the month of April. No other player in the National League has more than six. And it’s still more than either the Pirates or Cubs have hit.
Kemp also slipped past Andre Ethier by one for the RBI lead. He continues to lead the majors in batting average (.449) and the National League in runs (19).
After giving up the single to Uggla in the fourth, Lilly shut Atlanta down, retiring his last 10 Braves in order. Lilly left for a pinch-hitter after seven innings, allowing the one run on three hits and one walk.
In his three starts this season, Lilly has allowed only nine hits in 20 innings. He lowered his ERA to 0.90, best in the majors.
Jansen pitched one scoreless inning.
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