Wood, Braves' bullpen hold off Dodgers
ATLANTA -- Chris Johnson recorded three hits and the Braves benefited from a couple of costly errors while preserving Alex Wood's determined effort in Tuesday night's 4-3 win over the Dodgers at Turner Field.
Nick Markakis opened the decisive fifth inning with a single and advanced to second when center fielder Joc Pederson fumbled the ball. Johnson followed with a single to set the stage for former Dodger Juan Uribe to deliver the go-ahead RBI single off Pedro Baez, who was the second of four relievers used after Los Angeles' starter Brett Anderson suffered a left Achilles tendon injury in the third inning.
"I felt it at the last play of the first [inning]," Anderson said. "[Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons] hit the chopper and I kind of jumped off the mound there and just felt a little something."
After surrendering solo home runs to Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig through the first two innings, Wood allowed just one more run over 6 2/3. Luis Avilan pitched around a Jace Peterson error in the eighth, and Jim Johnson provided the Braves their second straight win in this three-game set with a perfect ninth inning.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
C. Johnson enhances trade value: One day after saying he hoped the Braves would find a trade partner for him, Chris Johnson notched his third three-hit game of the season and two RBIs. The veteran infielder plated the first on a first-inning groundout and followed Markakis' one-out triple in the third inning with a single.
"I had fun tonight," Johnson said. "No matter what happens or what I say before the game or after the game, as soon as the game starts, I'm the same person. I go out there and try to get a hit every single at-bat or help the team any way I can when I'm in the game."
Taking it back to '03: Dodgers reliever Chin-hui Tsao probably wasn't expecting an at-bat Tuesday night, but he got one in the fifth inning. And he made the most of it. Tsao's leadoff ground-rule double helped the Dodgers tie the Braves at 3 after an RBI single from Howie Kendrick. It was Tsao's first hit since Aug. 23, 2003, against Mike Hampton and the Braves.
Where's that Dodger defense? Los Angeles entered the game with a Major League-low 38 errors, but Tuesday night wasn't indicative of that. Enrique Hernandez's throwing error in the first inning cost the Dodgers two runs when he couldn't start a potential double play. Atlanta managed to score two runs in the first without a ball leaving the infield -- except the one Hernandez threw to the outfield.
"We gave them a couple runs on missed plays," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "You don't want to give extra outs or extra runs, and tonight we actually gave them a couple extra bases. It ended up costing us."
Wood bends, doesn't break: Wood was far from dominant as he proved perfect in just one of his six full innings. But the southpaw limited the Dodgers to one hit in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. After surrendering consecutive one-out walks in the second inning, he got Pederson to strand a pair of runners in scoring position with a weak grounder to first. He also escaped unscathed after allowing the Dodgers to begin the sixth with an Adrian Gonzalez single and Scott Van Slyke walk. More >
"There's a lot of resiliency in that group and want-to and they have fun playing the game," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose team entered this series having lost seven of its previous eight games.
"You want me to find a word for that? It'd be 'disarray' maybe. No, I think we're OK. [Mike Bolsinger] tomorrow, who's actually been throwing the ball OK for us. And obviously other guys with [Clayton Kershaw] and [Zack Greinke] are solid guys. We've just got to figure out the other couple." -- Mattingly on the state of the starting rotation
"That's one of the few parts of my body that I haven't hurt before, so I didn't really know if it was anything major." -- Anderson
Markakis led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single to center field, but when Pederson couldn't come up with the ball cleanly, Markakis rounded first and dove into second base, briefly coming off the bag before reaching back under the tag. After the initial safe call, the Dodgers challenged the play, but after a brief review, the call stood.
Mattingly was ejected in the top of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout with home-plate umpire James Hoye. Mattingly had words with Hoye from the dugout after Turner grounded out to second base, and Hoye quickly ejected the manager. More >
Dodgers: Mattingly said he would try and get some fresh players in Wednesday's 12:10 p.m. ET (9:10 a.m. PT) finale at Turner Field against the Braves, and Carl Crawford is expected to spell Puig for a day off. On the mound will be Bolsinger, whose last start was shortened by a light outage at Nationals Park.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Julio Teheran, who completed just 4 2/3 innings in his first start after the All-Star break. This has been a frustrating season for Teheran, but despite the command struggles he experienced against the Cubs on Friday, he has posted a 2.18 ERA in nine home starts.
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