Dodgers, Javy Guerra let it slip away in 4-2 loss to Braves

The concerns about Javy Guerra that Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly shared on Wednesday night were about his health, not his ability to close.

Guerra was the losing pitcher for the second consecutive night, as he was charged with his second blown save of the season in a 4-2 defeat by Atlanta.

The right-hander recorded only one out in the three-run, five-hit ninth inning by the Braves that dropped the Dodgers’ record to 13-6.

Three batters into the disastrous inning, a comebacker by Brian McCann struck Guerra on the right side of the jaw. Guerra remained in the game and a batter later, the 2-1 lead the Dodgers took on Matt Kemp’s major league-leading 10th home run disappeared.

Two batters after that, the Dodgers were down by two runs.

“I’m worried about his health,” Mattingly said. “I’m confident he’ll bounce back. I’m not worried about that.”

Guerra said he passed a postgame concussion test. Mattingly said he will remain the team’s closer.

“You can sit here and question it all you want,” Mattingly said. “But our club has confidence in him. At this point, I’m not going to get into a big closer thing again. After two outings, if you think I’m going to change and flip-flop, I’m not.”

Based on assistant trainer Greg Harrel’s on-field examination, Mattingly said he decided not to remove Guerra.

“I feel fine,” Guerra said. “More than anything, I feel upset.”

In the coming days, if not weeks, Guerra will face what could be the greatest challenge of his brief major league career. As a rookie last season, Guerra was nearly perfect, converting 21 of 23 save opportunities. Never has he had to come back from two games such as these.

“I think Javy’s that kind of guy,” Mattingly said. “He’s been that kind of guy all the time.”

Guerra’s meltdown wasted more than Kemp’s home run.

Ted Lilly’s brilliant start was relegated to a side note as well.

Lilly held the Braves to one run and three hits over seven innings. He walked one. He exited with a pitch count of only 79.

“I let the team down two days in a row,” Guerra said.

When Mattingly talked about the Dodgers’ shortcomings before the game, he mentioned nothing about the back end of the bullpen.

Mattingly talked about the team’s sloppy baserunning, which was addressed in a pregame meeting in the dining room.

“We’ve made far too many mistakes,” Mattingly said. “We’re getting away with it.”

He also talked about how dependent the lineup was on its two star players, Kemp and Andre Ethier.

The Dodgers responded by manufacturing a run in the fifth inning to tie the score, 1-1.

Tony Gwynn Jr. led off with a single, stole second base, moved to third base on a hit by A.J. Ellis and scored on a groundout by Dee Gordon.

An inning later, Kemp put the Dodgers ahead by sending a ball halfway up the left-field pavilion.

With the home run, Kemp tied the all-time franchise record for most home runs in April. He shares the record with Gary Sheffield, who hit 10 home runs in April 2000.

The Dodgers have a day off Thursday. They will resume play Friday, when they host the National League East-leading Washington Nationals for the start of a three-game series.