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Dodgers can’t rally, fall 4-2 to Braves to close series

The Dodgers were looking to bounce back against the Braves in the series finale, but Trevor Bauer gave up three runs and the bats couldn’t offset the damage.

Atlanta's Guillermo Heredia scores next to Dodgers catcher Will Smith.
Atlanta’s Guillermo Heredia scores next to Dodgers catcher Will Smith, right, on a sacrifice fly by Ender Inciarte in the eighth inning Sunday.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

The Dodgers dropped two of three against the Atlanta Braves during their weekend series. Trevor Bauer allowed three Braves to score and his team couldn’t overcome the deficit.

Here’s a recap of the game.

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Albert Pujols’ home run not enough, Dodgers fall 4-2 to Braves

Top of the ninth:

Will Smith relieved Chris Martin for the Braves.

Albert Pujols blasted his ninth home run of the season to begin the top of the ninth inning. Pujols passed Barry Bonds to reach fourth on the all-time total bases list. Pujols drove in both the Dodgers’ runs.

AJ Pollock struck out swinging for the first out. Cody Bellinger flew out to left field for the second out. Gavin Lux flew out to center field to end the game.

End of the game: Braves 4, Dodgers 2

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Ender Inciarte’s sac-fly gives the Braves some insurance

Top of the eighth:

Mookie Betts grounded out to shortstop for the first out. Justin Turner did the same thing for the second out. Chris Taylor flew out to the warning track in center field to end the top half.

Bottom of the eighth:

David Price came in relief of Victor González.

Guillermo Heredia pinch hit for Abraham Almonte. Heredia singled to center field to begin the inning. Price then gave up back-to-back walks to Ehire Adrianza and William Contreras to load the bases. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Ender Inciarte hit a sacrifice fly out to left field that scored Heredia.

Nate Jones relieved Price.

Pablo Sandoval was a pinch hitter for the pitcher, but he immediately popped out to third. It put runners on first and second with two outs. Ronald Acuña Jr. struck out on a seventh pitch sinker to end the inning.

End of the eighth: Braves 4, Dodgers 1

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Dodgers threaten but no runs score in the seventh

Top of the seventh:

AJ Pollock singled to center field to start the inning. Cody Bellinger singled to left field and advanced Pollock to second.

The back-to-back hits ended the game for Max Fried. A.J. Minter took over on the mound in relief.

Will Smith popped out to first. Gavin Lux flew out to left field. Max Muncy flew out to right field. With two on and nobody out, the Dodgers were unable to get anyone across the plate.

Bottom of the seventh:

Trevor Bauer was relieved by Victor González.

González got Freddie Freeman to pop out for the first out. Ozzie Albeis struck out swinging on a 1-2 slider. Dansby Swanson struck out for the final out of the inning.

End of the seventh: Braves 3, Dodgers 1

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Ender Inciarte hits an RBI single, Braves lead 3-1 after six

Top of the sixth:

Trevor Bauer grounded out to the pitcher for the first out. Mookie Betts lined a ground ball to shortstop that was too much to handle for Dansby Swanson. Justin Taylor singled to center, advancing Betts to second. Chris Taylor grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Betts and Taylor to move up 90 feet. Abraham Almonte made a running catch into foul territory to secure Albert Pujols’ fly ball for the final out of the top half.

Bottom of the sixth:

Bauer gave up his fourth walk of the inning to Almonte to begin the frame. Ehire Adrianza singled to center, advancing Almonte to second. William Contreras fouled out to the catcher for the first out. Ender Inciarte singled to right center, bringing in Almonte for the Braves’ third run. Max Fried laid down a sacrifice bunt to third, moving Adrianza and Inciarte to second and third with two outs. Ronald Acuña Jr. struck out swinging to end the inning.

End of the sixth: Braves 3, Dodgers 1

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Dodgers, Braves pitchers hold score 2-1 after fifth inning

Top of the fifth:

Cody Bellinger grounded out to second base for the first out, Will Smith grounded out to shortstop for the second and Gavin Lux struck out swinging on a 1-2 slider to end the top half.

Bottom of the fifth:

Freddie Freeman grounded out to Albert Pujols, who made a diving stop to toss the ball to Trevor Bauer covering first base for the first out. Ozzie Albies struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt for the second out. Dansby Swanson flew out to center field to end the inning.

End of the fifth: Braves 2, Dodgers 1

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Albert Pujols cuts Braves’ lead in half, Trevor Bauer works out of jam

Top of the fourth:

Mookie Betts struck out on a curve ball to start the inning. Justin Turner registered the first hit of the game for the Dodgers with a double to deep left field. Chris Taylor struck out on a pitch that he didn’t think was a strike for the second out. And Albert Pujols singled to left, allowing Turner to score the Dodgers’ first run of the game. AJ Pollock grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the top half.

Bottom of the fourth:

Abraham Almonte grounded out to second for the first out of the bottom half. Ehire Adrianza lined a double to right field. William Contreras hit a ground ball to shortstop and Gavin Lux went to third, attempting to get Adrianza trying to advance to third, but the throw was too late. The Braves had runners on first and third, one out. Ender Inciarte struck out on six pitches for the second out. Max Fried walked, which brought up Ronald Acuña Jr. with the bases loaded and two outs. Acuña Jr. popped out to the catcher to end the inning.

End of the fourth: Braves 2, Dodgers 1

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Ozzie Albies’ double adds another run for Braves

Top of the third:

Will Smith grounded out to the pitcher for the first out. Gavin Lux struck out on five pitches. Trevor Bauer grounded out to the pitcher to end the top half.

Bottom of the third:

Max Fried lined out to center field for the first out. Ronald Acuña Jr. struck out on a 1-2 changeup. Freddie Freeman walked on five pitches. A two-out double to center field from Ozzie Albies brought home Freeman for the Braves’ second run of the game. Dansby Swanson struck out on three pitches to end the inning.

End of the third: Braves 2, Dodgers 0

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Abraham Almonte’s RBI double gives Braves 1-0 lead

Top of the second:

Albert Pujols grounded out to third base to begin the inning. AJ Pollock grounded out to second for the second out. And Cody Bellinger grounded out to second to end the top of the second.

Bottom of the second:

Dansby Swanson singled to left to start the bottom half of the inning. Abraham Almonte doubled to deep center field. His hit scored Swanson.

Trevor Bauer got back in the saddle, striking out Ehire Adrianza on a curve ball. He then struck out William Contreras with the same pitch. Ender Inciarte grounded out to Pujols at first base for the unassisted final out.

End of the second: Braves 1, Dodgers 0

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Dodgers, Angels pitchers keep it even after one inning

Top of the first:

Mookie Betts hit a long fly out to center field for out No. 1. Justin Turner flew out to right field for the second out. Chris Taylor flew out to center field to end the inning.

Bottom of the first:

Trevor Bauer was on the mound for the Dodgers. He is working to keep the ball in the park and has been susceptible to the long ball during his last few starts.

Ronald Acuña Jr. walked to lead off the inning. Freddie Freeman lined into a double play that caught Acuña at first base. And Ozzie Albies flew out to left to end the inning.

End of the first: Dodgers 0, Braves 0

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Dodgers vs. Braves betting lines, odds for Sunday

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves split the first two game of their three game series and the Dodgers will look to Trevor Bauer to get the team a series win in Atlanta on Sunday.

Bauer has gone at least six innings in 10 of his 11 starts as a Dodger, but he has allowed at least four walks in two of his last three starts and five home runs in his last two starts. Bauer has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven straight road starts and overall opponents are hitting .150 off of him as Bauer is getting 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Dodgers vs. Braves betting odds
(VSiN)

The Atlanta Braves lead the league in home runs per game and at home are cranking out 1.8 home runs per contest.

The Dodgers lead the league with nearly 5.4 runs per game and Braves starter Max Fried will attempt to silence those bats and improve on his past results against the Dodgers, giving up at least three runs in three of his four starts against Los Angeles since the beginning of the 2019 season. Overall for the season, Fried has a 5.35 ERA and is issuing 3.7 walks per nine innings.

The Dodgers and Braves are two of just three National League teams to have played more than 55% of the games over the total to this point of the season, with the Cincinnati Reds being the other and the Braves have covered the run line in seven of their last 12 games after covering just 15 of their first 44 games.

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Max Muncy not in Dodgers’ lineup again because of ankle injury

ATLANTA — Max Muncy’s right ankle injury, an odd development with an unclear origin, will keep him out of the Dodgers’ lineup Sunday for the second straight day.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Muncy’s ankle was still stiff Sunday morning. If it responds to treatment, he could be available to pinch-hit. Muncy was the only player on the bench Roberts didn’t use in Saturday’s loss.

Muncy exited Friday’s game with the injury after trying to beat out a double play. Roberts said he wasn’t sure why the ankle started bothering Muncy. Before Saturday’s game, Roberts said that Muncy didn’t require any tests and he planned on having Muncy in the lineup Tuesday, at the latest.

But Muncy underwent an X-ray Saturday, Roberts confirmed after the game, and the manager’s confidence in the first baseman’s quick return wasn’t as sturdy Sunday.

“I’m hopeful, not necessarily confident,” Roberts said. “I’m hopeful. But if it’s not Tuesday then it’s Wednesday and if it’s not Wednesday then we’ll have another conversation.”

That other conversation is whether or not to place Muncy on the injured list.

Losing Muncy for an extended period of time would be a significant blow for a Dodgers lineup already without Corey Seager (hand) and not getting the usual production from Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger.

Muncy is having an All-Star-caliber season at age 30. He entered Sunday leading the majors in walks (45) and tops in the National League in on-base percentage (.424) in 55 games. He’s tied for fifth in fWAR (2.7) in the majors. His 165 wRC+ — an all-encompassing offensive metric that uses 100 as league average — ranks sixth in the majors.

He leads the Dodgers in home runs (13), slugging (.570), on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.955) and OPS+ (167).

DODGERS (34-24, +85)
Mookie Betts RF
Justin Turner 3B
Chris Taylor 2B
Albert Pujols 1B
AJ Pollock LF
Cody Bellinger CF
Will Smith C
Gavin Lux SS
Trevor Bauer P

BRAVES (27-29, -5)
Ronald Acuña Jr. RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Ozzie Albies 2B
Dansby Swanson SS
Abraham Almonte LF
Ehire Adrianza 3B
William Contreras C
Ender Inciarte CF
Max Fried P

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Braves closer Will Smith strikes out side in ninth to preserve win over Dodgers

Braves closer Will Smith struck out Will Smith, Mookie Betts and Justin Turner to preserve a 6-4 win over the Dodgers on Saturday at Truist Park.

Atlanta’s five-run, two-out surge against Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning spurred the Braves to victory. A home run by Abraham Almonte in the seventh inning of reliever Blake Treinen gave the Braves some late breathing room.

Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry and Austin Barnes each drove in runs as part of a three-run fourth, but that was all the Dodgers could muster against Braves pitching.

The Dodgers (34-24) and the Braves (27-29) wrap up their three-game series Sunday at 10:20 a.m. PDT. Trevor Bauer will get the start opposite Max Fried for the Braves.

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Dodgers can’t jump start offense in the eighth

Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford struck out Guillermo Heredia before Pablo Sandoval hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Dodgers couldn’t generate anything against Braves reliever Chris Martin. AJ Pollock reached first after being hit by a pitch, but Gavin Lux and Albert Pujols each flied out before Austin Barnes grounded out.

End of eighth: Braves 6, Dodgers 4

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Dodgers option Brusdar Graterol to attend ‘finishing school,’ find more consistency

Dodgers pitcher Brusdar Graterol delivers against the San Diego Padres in October.
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

ATLANTA — The Dodgers put reliever Brusdar Graterol on a rehab assignment with triple-A Oklahoma City last week presumably because they planned on placing him on their roster once he was ready to come off the injured list.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, the Dodgers ended Graterol’s rehab assignment Friday night by activating him from the injured list and optioning him to Oklahoma City. He could’ve spent another three weeks on the rehab assignment. Optioning Graterol saves the club money — he’s no longer on a major-league salary — and stops him from accumulating service time.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the decision was based on performance.

“Brusdar was obviously a huge part of what we did last year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Saturday. “He is going to be a huge part of what we’re going to do this year. We just feel, right now, where he’s at, it’s a finishing school.

“He’s healthy. The ball is coming out [fine], but the slider is not as consistent as it needs to be to get major-league hitters out consistently and the sinker is not commanded the way it needs to be.”

Major League Baseball informed owners that it will enforce rules on using foreign substances on baseballs. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is fine with that.

Graterol was placed on the injured list April 29 with forearm tightness after a delayed start to his season and three appearances. He didn’t give up a run in two one-inning outings on his rehab assignment, which began May 31. On Thursday, he struck out the side and consistently threw 100 mph.

The Dodgers acquired the 22-year-old right-hander from the Twins as part of a trade that sent Kenta Maeda, an effective starter on one of the best contracts in the majors, to Minnesota. Maeda ended up finishing second in the AL Cy Young Award race.

Graterol, meanwhile, arrived with a checkered injury history — the Boston Red Sox nixed a trade for him after seeing his medicals last winter — but emerged as a key piece in the Dodgers’ bullpen. He posted a 3.09 ERA in 23 1/3 innings during the regular season. In nine postseason appearances, he surrendered three runs across 7 2/3 innings.

But Graterol reported to spring training behind schedule for unspecified reasons. He wasn’t cleared to throw off a mound until the middle of March and began the season on the injured list. He made his season debut April 18. He pitched in just three games before landing on the injured list.

“I think that’s a big part of it,” Roberts said Graterol’s delayed start. “I think that some of the things were out of Brusdar’s control. Some things, to be quite frank, were in his control. But it’s where we’re at right now and how do we go from here to there. And this is what we feel is best for him and the Dodgers.”

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Abraham Almonte hits solo home run for Braves in the seventh

Abraham Almonte’s pinch-hit home run off Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen extended the Braves’ lead to 6-4 in the seventh inning.

It was Almonte’s first home run of the season — a 353-foot blast to right field.

Treinen managed to limit the damage when he struck out Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley before getting Ehire Adrianza to ground out with the bases loaded.

In the top of the inning, Braves reliever Tyler Matzek struck out Chris Taylor on three pitches to defuse a potential scoring opportunity for the Dodgers in the seventh.

After Mookie Betts reached first on third baseman Austin Riley’s second fielding error of the game, and his third of the series, Braves reliever Luke Jackson was pulled in favor of Matzek for the favorable lefty vs. lefty matchup against Cody Bellinger. An eagle-eyed at-bat by Bellinger allowed him to draw a walk before Matzek struck out Taylor.

End of seventh: Braves 6, Dodgers 4

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Dodgers still trail by a run heading into the seventh inning

Braves reliever A.J. Minter gave up a single to AJ Pollock to lead off the sixth before Gavin Lux popped out and Albert Pujols and Austin Barnes struck out.

In the bottom of the inning, Pujols replaced Matt Beaty at first and Pollock moved into left for Zach McKinstry.

Charlie Morton allowed four hits, two earned runs and struck out five in his five innings for Atlanta.

Clayton Kershaw retired the side in the bottom half with reliever Joe Kelly warming up in the bullpen. Kershaw’s night is over — he allowed eight hits, five earned runs and struck out nine over six innings.

End of sixth: Braves 5, Dodgers 4

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Dodgers miss out on scoring opportunity in the fifth

Braves starter Charlie Morton thwarted an opportunity for the Dodgers to tie the game when he struck out Chris Taylor to leave Justin Turner stranded at second.

Freddie Freeman hit a dribbler off the third-base bag for a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning before Clayton Kershaw retired the next three Braves batters.

End of fifth: Braves 5, Dodgers 4

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Corey Seager patiently progressing from fractured hand; Dodgers fall to Braves

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager stands in the dugout during a game.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager stands in the dugout during a game against the Seattle Mariners on April 19.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

ATLANTA — A downpour spattered Truist Park on Saturday evening, forcing the grounds crew to roll out the detested white tarp less than two hours before first pitch of the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Thunder rolled. Lightning struck. But the elements didn’t impede Corey Seager. He emerged to play catch in shallow left field anyway.

“I don’t want to get behind a day, you know?” Seager said.

The Dodgers shortstop is still in recovery mode after fracturing the fifth meta-carpal, the bone at the base of his pinky finger, in his right hand when he was hit by a pitch three weeks ago. He started playing catch and gripping exercises recently, but he hasn’t been cleared to take two-handed swings.

Batting practice is the final step before going on a rehabilitation assignment. He said doesn’t know when he’ll reach it. He said he could ultimately miss eight weeks before returning to the Dodgers. He said he hasn’t set a target date. Patience is key.

“I try to not do that, to be honest with you, because you’re just going to get mad one way or the other,” Seager said. “So I’ve just tried to be a good boy so far. Just let them tell me when I can do things.”

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Braves hold onto 5-4 lead after Dodgers’ rally in the fourth

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers during Saturday's game.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry and Austin Barnes each drove in runs to make it 5-4 Braves in the fourth inning.

Cody Bellinger scored from third on Beaty’s hit after he led off the fourth with a single to left, then stole second on the next pitch. Chris Taylor pushed him to third on a single to left.

Gavin Lux followed with a single to right, loading up the bases and giving the Dodgers four consecutive hits off Morton with no outs. McKinstry then grounded into a 6-3 double play that allowed Taylor to score.

Barnes drove in Beaty when a throwing error by Dansby Swanson allowed Barnes to reach first. Morton struck out Clayton Kershaw to end the rally.

In the bottom of the inning, Morton hit a two-out single off Kershaw before the Dodgers southpaw struck out Ronald Acuña Jr.

End of fifth: Braves 5, Dodgers 4

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Braves take a 5-1 lead over the Dodgers in the third

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw stretches while delivering a pitch during the third inning Saturday.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Run-scoring hits by Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson off Clayton Kershaw pushed the Braves to a 5-1 lead over the Dodgers through three innings.

Guillermo Heredia singled off Kershaw and moved to second when Kershaw walked Ronald Acuña Jr. Freeman then singled into left, giving Heredia enough time to beat the throw home. Albies drove in Acuña and Freeman on the next at-bat with a laser into the left-field corner to continue the two-out surge.

Swanson followed with a liner to the left-center field gap, driving in Albies and Austin Riley on the standing double. Kershaw then struck out Ehire Adrianza to stop the damage.

Braves starter Charlie Morton retired the Dodgers in order again in the top half of the inning.

End of third: Braves 5, Dodgers 1

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Clayton Kershaw sharp through two innings for Dodgers

After allowing a leadoff single to Austin Riley, Clayton Kershaw struck out Dansby Swanson before picking off Riley at first. Braves first base coach Eric Young Sr. seemed to be protesting with first base umpire Larry Vanover that Kershaw should have been called for a balk on the play.

Ehire Adrianza then grounded out to end the inning.

Gavin Lux and Zach McKinstry each grounded out before Charlie Morton caught Austin Barnes looking on 96-mph third strike.

End of second: Dodgers 1, Braves 0

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Bad pick-off throw gives Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning

Mookie Betts scored on a bad pickoff attempt by Braves pitcher Charlie Morton to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Morton’s pick-off throw to first baseman Freddie Freeman was high and wide, allowing Betts to easily score from third.

Betts took an 80-mph pitch off the elbow to lead off the game and moved to second on a fielding error by Braves third baseman Austin Riley that put Justin Turner on first. Betts advanced to third when Cody Bellinger hit into a fielder’s choice to get Turner out at second.

After Betts scored, Chris Taylor lined out to short before Matt Beaty popped out.

Clayton Kershaw retired the Braves 1-2-3 on eight pitches.

End of first: Dodgers 1, Braves 0

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Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Braves on Saturday

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers against the San Diego Padres.
Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers against the San Diego Padres on April 17. Kershaw will start against the Braves on Saturday.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The Dodgers will look to Clayton Kershaw to help them secure a series win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

The Dodgers are 14-3 in Kershaw’s last 17 road starts. In 11 career starts against the Braves, he is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA over 75.2 innings.

The Braves have scored at least four runs in 10 of their last 13 games while the Dodgers have plated at least four runs in 10 of their last 12 games.

Dodgers line for June 5, 2021.
(VSiN)

Braves starter Charlie Morton has given up three earnings runs or fewer in each of his last five starts but has actually been worse at home than on the road. Morton is giving up 1.35 home runs and 3.5 walks per nine innings with a 4.81 ERA at home compared to a 3.47 road ERA with 0.8 home runs and three walks per nine innings away from Truist Park.

The Dodgers’ 3.35 team road ERA is second in the league. The Braves lead the league in home runs per game with 1.55 and are 19-11-2 to the Over at home.

The Dodgers have played six of their last seven games over the total while the Braves’ 21-34 record on the run line is the worst in the National League.

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Dave Roberts says he’s not worried about MLB’s plan to crack down on doctored baseballs

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts looks on in the dugout during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts looks on in the dugout during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Major League Baseball, after turning a blind eye in recent years, this week informed team owners that it plans on enforcing rules to curb pitchers’ application of foreign substances on baseballs in the coming weeks. The decision is spurred by rampant use across the majors, which is viewed as a significant reason for offensive struggles this season.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and catcher Will Smith said Friday that the team hasn’t heard from the league on the matter.

“I guess you see it across the league where some guys are blatantly using it,” Smith said. “But as far as it goes for me, I mean, I don’t know. It doesn’t really affect me that much, I feel like, as a hitter. So, yeah, it’d be interesting to see what they do with it.”

A quick glance at Major League Baseball’s spin rate leaderboards — accessible for anyone with a computer and an internet connection — is all that’s needed to know that the Dodgers’ pitching staff spins baseballs better than any other. Proof of anyone on the Dodgers’ roster using foreign substances hasn’t surfaced, at least publicly. Does Roberts expect a drop-off in performance if MLB polices sticky stuff?

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Max Muncy not in Dodgers’ lineup Saturday vs. Braves

Max Muncy slides into second base being after being forced out on a double play.
Max Muncy slides into second base being after being forced out on a double play during Friday’s win over the Braves.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

ATLANTA — Max Muncy isn’t in the Dodgers’ lineup Saturday against the Braves after injuring his right ankle in the Dodgers’ win over the Braves on Friday.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he doesn’t think Muncy’s injury is serious. He called it a “mild sprain.” But he said Muncy might not play Sunday to give him three rest days, including the Dodgers’ off-day Monday, ahead of their series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

“He has not had any X-rays,” Roberts said. “There’s been some manual tests. So today it was more stiffness, not any pain, and so we just felt that giving him another day of treatment, hopefully, we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Matt Beaty will play first base in place of Muncy on Saturday against right-hander Charlie Morton. The Dodgers also have Albert Pujols and Yoshi Tsutsugo as options for first base.

DODGERS (34-23)
Mookie Betts RF
Justin Turner 3B
Cody Bellinger CF
Chris Taylor 2B
Matt Beaty 1B
Gavin Lux SS
Zach McKinstry LF
Austin Barnes C
Clayton Kershaw P

BRAVES (26-29)
Ronald Acuña Jr. RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Ozzie Albies 2B
Austin Riley 3B
Dansby Swanson SS
Ehire Adrianza LF
Guillermo Heredia CF
Kevan Smith C
Charlie Morton P

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Dodgers go from frustrated to scoring flurry in win over Braves in NLCS rematch

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Highlights from the Dodgers’ 9-5 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday.

ATLANTA — The Dodgers couldn’t solve Ian Anderson in the first four innings Friday at Truist Park. The Atlanta Braves’ right-hander, the same starter the Dodgers faced in Game 7 of the NLCS last October, didn’t surrender a hit. The only baserunners reached on an error and two walks. Anderson recorded six strikeouts, five with his changeup.

All the while, though, the Dodgers made him work, waiting for him to lose steam.

Anderson entered the fifth inning with 73 pitches. He was chased 25 pitches later with one out, bloodied from the Dodgers’ constant jabs. In the end, two days after posting a 11-run first inning in their blowout win over the St. Louis Cardinals and eight months after an 11-run first inning in Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers scored eight runs off three pitchers in the fifth inning on three hits, five walks, a fielder’s choice and a safety squeeze on the way to a 9-5 victory.

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Dodgers pounce on wild pitches, add one run in ninth

Top of the ninth:

Mookie Betts doubled to left, advanced to third off a Tyler Matzek wild pitch and scored off another Matzek wild pitch. Albert Pujols fouled out to first. Justin Turner popped out to second and Cody Bellinger struck out swinging.

The Dodgers have a four-run lead and are three outs away from a win.

Bottom of the ninth:

Kenley Jansen took the mound for the Dodgers, with the hope of swiftly closing out the game.

Abraham Almonte and Ender Inciarte both earned walks. Ronald Acuña Jr. popped out to second. Freddie Freeman struck out swinging and Ozzie Albies flied out to center to end the game.

End of ninth inning: Dodgers 9, Braves 5

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Braves trim Dodgers lead to 8-5 in eighth inning

Top of the eighth:

Gavin Lux struck out swinging, A.J. Pollock lined out to right and Mitchell White struck out swinging.

The Dodgers are working to protect their lead in front of an announced crowd of 40,514 in Atlanta.

Bottom of the eighth:

Ender Inciarte singled to left. Ronald Acuña Jr. walked and advanced Inciarte to second, Freddie Freeman grounded into a fielder’s choice, advancing the runners. Albies doubled to deep right, allowing Inciarte and Freeman to score.

The sequence trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 8-3 with one out and a runner on second.

Austin Riley singled, putting runners on first and third.

Reliever Joe Kelly then took over the Dodgers.

Pablo Sandoval struck out swinging. Ehire Adrianza doubled to left, scoring Albies and Riley. And William Contreras grounded out to third to end the inning.

End of eighth inning: Dodgers 8, Braves 5

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Dodgers, Braves relievers frustrate batters in seventh

Top of the seventh:

Cody Bellinger lined out to second, Will Smith grounded out to the pitcher and Chris Taylor grounded out to shortstop.

~~ Stretch! ~~

Bottom of the seventh:

Mitchell White took took over on the mound for the Dodgers.

Ehire Arianza struck out looking, William Contreras grounded out to second and Abraham Almonte struck out swinging.

End of seventh inning: Dodgers 8, Braves 1

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Dodgers, Braves go scoreless in sixth

Top of the sixth:

A much quieter inning for the Dodgers after scoring eight in the fifth.

Yoshi Tsutsugo walked, Mookie Betts flied out to center, Alberto Pujols struck out looking and Justin Turner grounded to the shortstop.

Bottom of the sixth: Jimmie Nelson, who was activated Thursday, took over on the mound for the Dodgers after Urías delivered five complete innings, scored and handed off an 8-1 lead.

Ozzie Albies struck out swinging, Austin Riley struck out swinging and Dansby Swanson lined out to center.

End of sixth inning: Dodger 8, Braves 1

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Dodgers rattle Anderson, score eight in fifth

Top of the fifth:

The Dodgers finally put some pressure on Braves pitcher Ian Anderson in the fifth inning, broke up his no hitter and piled up runs scored off walks.

Will Smith lined out to right, Chris Taylor walked and Gavin Lux doubled to deep right, advancing Taylor to third.

A.J. Pollock grounded into a fielder’s choice. Taylor scored and Lux advanced to third with one out. Julio Urías pulled off a bunt and speedy Lux scored, while Pollock advanced to second. Mookie Betts flied out to right, then Albert Pujols stepped in to hit. He walked, moving Urías to second. Pollock remained on third.

Sean Newcomb took over for Anderson and faced Justin Turner with two outs and the bases loaded. Newcomb walked Turner, allowing Pollock to score and keeping the bases loaded.

Newcomb then walked Cody Bellinger, allowing Urías to score. The bases remain loaded with two outs as Newcomb faced Will Smith.

Grant Dayton took over on the mound for the Braves, but he couldn’t get out of the jam. Taylor doubled to left, allowing Smith, Turner and Bellinger to score for the Dodgers.

The Braves went from nursing a no-hitter to trailing 8-1.

Lux walked during the next at bat, putting runners on first and second with Pollock at bat. The Braves’ miserable inning ended when Pollock flied out.

Bottom of the fifth:

Urías got back on the mound for the Dodgers and built on their momentum. Ender Inciarte grounded out to second. Ronald Acuña Jr. flied out to center. And Freddie Freeman struck out swinging.

End of fifth inning: Dodgers 8, Braves 1

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New ‘Fernandomania @ 40' episode highlights Fernando Valenzuela’s first start

Don’t miss the latest episode of “Fernandomania @ 40,” the Los Angeles Times’ docu-series chronicling the impact Fernando Valenzuela had on the Dodgers, the Los Angeles area and the Mexican American community.

Episode 5 is special.

Valenzuela broke camp in 1981 as the Dodgers’ No. 3 starter. But when opening day pitcher Jerry Reuss came down with a calf strain, manager Tommy Lasorda tapped an unheralded 20-year-old rookie to replace him.

Valenzuela proceeded to throw a four-hit shutout over the Houston Astros. It was not only the first win of an amazing 8-0 start for the pitcher — it was the opening spark of what would become Fernandomania.

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You can also binge watch all five episodes so far this season via The Times’ YouTube page, which features our premiere event and all five episodes. They are all available with English and Spanish subtitles.

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Pitchers keep rolling during scoreless fourth inning

Top of the fourth:

Mookie Betts reached base on a walk, but Max Muncy then grounded into a double play. Justin Turner walked and Cody Bellinger struck out swinging.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias delivers to an Atlanta Braves.
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias delivers to an Atlanta Braves batter during the first inning of a baseball game Friday.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Bottom of the fourth:

Julio Urías has settled after a bumpy firt inning. Dansby Swanson fouled out to first. Ehire Adrianza singled to right. William Contreras struck out swinging. And Guillermo Heredia lined out to left.

End of fourth inning: Braves 1, Dodgers 0

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Braves’ Anderson, Dodgers’ Urías deliver scoreless third inning

Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies hits a single
Atlanta Braves’ Ozzie Albies hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday in Atlanta.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Top of the third:

The Dodgers’ hitters have no answers for Ian Anderson.

Gavin Lux struck out swinging, A.J. Pollock flied out to right and Julio Urías line out to left to complete three scoreless innings of work for Anderson.

Bottom of the third:

This time a little bit of Bad Bunny hype music didn’t work for Freddie Freeman, who faced Julio Urías and struck out swinging. Ozzie Albies walked and later was caught stealing. And Austin Riley grounded out to shortstop.

End of third inning: Braves 1, Dodgers 0

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Tony Gonsolin to come off IL, start Wednesday in Pittsburgh

ATLANTA — For more than a month, the Dodgers have navigated their schedule with just four starting pitchers, tossing in a bullpen game when needed, over immediately replacing Dustin May with a conventional starter. Instead, they opted to wait for Tony Gonsolin to recover from his shoulder injury.

Well, Gonsolin is ready and bullpen game days, at least for now, appear to be a solution of the past. Manager Dave Roberts said Gonsolin will start Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’ll be Gonsolin’s first major-league game this season. The right-hander was placed on injured list April 4 before appearing in a game.

Gonsolin, 27, completed a three-start rehab assignment with triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. A stomach bug limited him to 60 pitches across 3 2/3 innings, but he emerged healthy otherwise. He joined the Dodgers in Georgia on Friday.

Gonsolin allowed four runs on six hits in 10 1/3 innings in his three outings in the minors. Roberts said he will be capped at four innings or 70 pitches Wednesday.

Gonsolin delivered a standout rookie season in 2020, posting a 2.31 ERA in 46 2/3 innings across nine games (eight starts). He’ll now serve as the Dodgers’ fifth starter, rounding out a rotation that has been the best in the majors this season.

Graterol progressing

Brusdar Graterol also pitched for Oklahoma City on Thursday. The right-handed reliever struck out the side in the seventh inning in the second outing of his rehab assignment.

Graterol has been on the injured list since April 29 with forearm tightness.

Seager still not taking full swings

Corey Seager joined the Dodgers on their road trip as he continues rehabbing his fractured right hand. Roberts said the shortstop, who broke the hand May 15, hasn’t started taking two-handed swings yet.

“He’s been playing catch, extending it out to 90 feet, maybe to 120,” Roberts said. “So just keeping his arm moving. So the progression each day has gotten a whole lot better and for us to have him around is a positive.”

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Dodgers bats remain quiet in second, Braves hold 1-0 lead

Top of the first:

Braves pitcher Ian Anderson continues rolling.

Chris Taylor struck out swinging, Will Smith struck out swinging and Cody Bellinger struck out looking.

Bottom of the second:

William Contreras singled to center field. Guillermo Heredia grounded into a fielder’s choice to shortstop. Ian Anderson sacrificed to first, moving Heredia to second. Ronald Acuna Jr. lined out to left and

Second inning: Braves 1, Dodgers 0

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Braves score early run, but Urías limits damage in first

Top of the first:
Ian Anderson quickly rolled through the top of the Dodgers’ lineup. Mookie Betts struck out swinging, Mike Muncy reached first on a fielding error and Justin Turner grounded into a double play.

Bottom of the first:
Julio Urías struck out Ronald Acuña Jr. looking. Freddie Freeman took the fourth pitch from Urías and hit a home run to center that spanned 423 feet. Our Jorge Castillo is in Atlanta and reports Freeman’s walk-up music was Bad Bunny, which I personally think helped fuel that homer.

After Freeman scored, Ozzie Albies reached first on an infield single, Austin Riley struck out and Dansby Swanson walked before Ehire Adrianza lined out to center to end the inning. The Braves stranded two runners on base and Urías limited the damage to one run.

First inning: Braves 1, Dodgers 0

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AJ Pollock back in Dodgers’ lineup after IL stint

Dodgers left fielder A.J. Pollock hits against the Colorado Rockies on April 2.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

ATLANTA — AJ Pollock, activated from the injured list Thursday, is in the Dodgers’ lineup Friday for their series opener against the Braves at Truist Park.

Pollock will play in left field and bat eighth opposite Braves right-hander Ian Anderson in the clubs’ first meeting since the NLCS in October. Pollock missed 17 games after re-straining his left hamstring last month. He went 2 for 9 with a home run in four games on rehab assignment for single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Julio Urías, who closed the Braves out with three perfect innings in Game 7, will take the mound as the Dodgers’ starter Friday. He’s looking to rebound after giving up seven runs in five innings against the Giants in his last start.

DODGERS (33-23)
Mookie Betts RF
Max Muncy 1B
Justin Turner 3B
Cody Bellinger CF
Will Smith C
Chris Taylor 2B
Gavin Lux SS
AJ Pollock LF
Julio Urías P

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Dodgers activate AJ Pollock and Jimmy Nelson ahead of Braves series

Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock drives in a run against the Cincinnati Reds on April 28.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The Dodgers added more reinforcements Thursday ahead of their six-game trip, activating outfielder AJ Pollock and right-hander Jimmy Nelson from the injured list. Relievers Alex Vesia and Edwin Uceta were optioned to triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster.

The 33-year-old Pollock was placed on the injured list May 15 after re-straining his left hamstring. He missed 17 games and appeared in four games on a rehabilitation assignment with single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He went two for nine with a home run in the stint. Pollock, who figures to platoon in left field with Matt Beaty, is batting .277 with four home runs and a .791 OPS in 32 games this season.

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Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Braves on Friday

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías delivers during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 2.
(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)

The Dodgers and Atlanta Braves will play Friday for the first time since last year’s National League Championship Series, with both teams outside the top spot in their respective divisions.

The Dodgers start Julio Urías, who gave up a season-high seven runs in his last start against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. He has been better on the road than at home, posting a 2.53 road ERA with opponents hitting .168 off him on the road compared to a 4.58 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

The Braves counter with Ian Anderson, who in eight career home starts has never allowed more than three runs. Opponents are hitting .222 at home off of him.

Dodgers line for June 4, 2021.
(VSiN)

The Braves are 21-33 on the run line, tied for the second-worst run-line record in the league while the Dodgers are 11-16 on the run line away from home, tied for the league’s third-worst mark.

The Over has hit in each of Urías’ last seven starts and four of Anderson’s five home starts have gone over the total, with the Braves leading the league in home runs per game.

VSiN, the Sports Betting Network, offers more expert sports betting content in a free daily email at VSiN.com/email.

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MLB’s extra-inning rule is a hit with some, a whiff with others

The Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after beating the Dodgers in 11 innings on May 1 in Milwaukee.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

May 1 was the 101st anniversary of a remarkable if obscure baseball game rediscovered every year. On that date in 1920, Leon Cadore, a right-hander for the Brooklyn Robins, and Joe Oeschger of the Boston Braves tossed 26-inning complete games opposite each other. Cadore is estimated to have thrown 338 pitches. Oeschger tossed 316. The game ended in a 1-1 tie because of darkness after 3 hours and 50 minutes.

The Dodgers — the Robins’ descendants — were in Milwaukee for the anniversary this year. Cadore’s name accordingly resurfaced during the television broadcast while the Dodgers and Brewers played a game that would’ve been unrecognizable to him.

The Brewers beat the Dodgers that day, 6-5, in 11 innings at American Family Field. Starter Dustin May blew out his elbow in the second inning and the Dodgers used 10 pitchers. The Brewers countered with six. The Dodgers, left without a bench, used Clayton Kershaw as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the 10th inning for the second time in a week. The game still lasted 4:48.

It probably would’ve gone longer if a runner wasn’t placed at second base to start each extra inning. It’s a rule Major League Baseball — an institution slow to enforce change in recent decades — initially implemented in 2020 to expedite results during the pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season after trials in the minors. It was kept for the 2021 regular season — not the postseason — after widespread approval outweighed initial aversion. The rationale: The league wants to avoid marathon games for both baseball and entertainment purposes.

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How to watch the Dodgers vs. Braves series

Truist Park in Atlanta.
(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Here’s how to watch this week’s three-game series between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park:

How to stream

Spectrum SportsNet LA is available with a subscription to AT&T TV “Choice Plan” ($84.99 / mo.). You can stream the game on your Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and your browser.

Fans outside of the Los Angeles market can stream the games using MLB.TV.

Saturday’s game (4:15 p.m. PDT start) will be broadcast by Fox.

How to watch on TV

Spectrum SportsNet LA and SportsNet LA Desportes are carrying the games on cable and satellite providers.

How to listen

In Los Angeles, the games can be heard on 570 AM or 1020 AM (Español).