Braves wait out Greinke, edge Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Nick Markakis' ground-rule double capped a two-run eighth inning against an erratic Adam Liberatore as the Braves capitalized on an Alex Wood gem for a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Andrelton Simmons scored the go-ahead run when Liberatore's 3-1 pitch to Freddie Freeman went to the backstop. Markakis followed the wild pitch with an RBI double, which provided the insurance run the Braves needed to overcome the one-out homer Alex Guerrero hit off Braves closer Jason Grilli in the ninth inning.
Though the Braves did not score after loading the bases with one out in the first, the prolonged inning helped create an early exit for Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, who surrendered one run and three hits over six innings. Greinke threw 32 of his 97 pitches in the opening frame, but he incurred his only damage when Cameron Maybin hit a one-out homer in the third. He struck out nine.
"It was like a 50-50 feeling," Greinke said. "I was already at 100 pitches, so I think the thought was if you're not feeling great then to just call it there."
Wood had retired nine straight batters before the Dodgers tied the game in the fourth inning with a pair of infield singles. Wood, who had missed his last start because of a stomach virus, allowed one run and seven hits over seven innings.
"It was good having [Wood] back out there," Maybin said. "He's a key part to our success. The bullpen also did a great job of coming in there and locking it down. That's the way we win ballgames. It was a team effort."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Wood's escapes: After Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes' pinpoint throw to second base denied A.J. Ellis' bid to turn a single into a double with one out in the fifth, Greinke and Joc Pederson followed with consecutive two-out singles, but Wood escaped that threat with a Jimmy Rollins groundout. He stranded two more when Guerrero grounded into a double play to end the sixth. More >
So close: Braves second baseman Jace Peterson could've kept the Dodgers off the board with two outs in the fourth inning, but he was unable to secure Justin Turner's sharp grounder. Peterson dove and stopped the ball along the edge of the outfield grass, but it squirted away into short right field, allowing Rollins to score the tying run from second base.
Hatcher's struggles continue: Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher was brought into a tie game in the eighth inning but provided no relief. He allowed a leadoff single to Simmons and then walked pinch-hitter Todd Cunningham before being pulled. This marked the third time in his last four appearances that Hatcher did not record an out.
"If you don't get outs, you don't deserve to be out there," Hatcher said.
Different uniforms: After being included in the multi-player trade completed earlier in the day, Juan Uribe and Alberto Callaspo played parts in how the ninth inning unfolded. Uribe helped preserve the one-run advantage when he knocked down Ellis's one-out grounder and kept his composure while throwing to second to record an out. Callaspo then ended the game when Grilli got him to fly out to Maybin. More >
"I've always felt strong, I'm just working on the right things in the cage with [hitting coach Kevin Seitzer]. I'm not trying to do too much. I'm trying to use the whole field and use the right side more than anything. The hard work we've put in every day is just a product of that." -- Maybin, who has batted .307 with a .856 OPS since becoming Atlanta's everyday center fielder on May 2
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Maybin's home run was just the third hit by a Braves player over the course of the past 18 games. Atlanta's position players entered Wednesday with a home run percentage of 0.3 (one homer in 381 plate appearances) going back to May 15. The league average was 2.6 during this span.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Braves challenged a call on the field during the bottom of the fifth. Greinke rolled a soft grounder to third. Uribe fielded it on the run, but his throw was a short-hop to Freeman at first base. Freeman's foot pulled off the base and Greinke was ruled safe. On review, the ruling was confirmed.
Braves: Shelby Miller will take the mound when Atlanta begins a four-game series in San Francisco on Thursday night. Miller has produced a 0.84 ERA and limited opponents to a .144 batting average through his first four starts this month.
Dodgers: The Dodgers will have an off-day before starting a seven-game road trip on Friday in St. Louis. It will be the club's first time back in Busch Stadium since the Cardinals eliminated the Dodgers from the playoffs in Game 4 of the 2014 National League Division Series.
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