ATLANTA -- As the Braves ushered in the Major League debuts of Lucas Sims and Ozzie Albies, the Dodgers spoiled the celebration thanks to Kenta Maeda's scoreless start and Cody Bellinger's 29th home run of the season in Tuesday's 3-2 victory at SunTrust Park, Los Angeles' ninth consecutive win.
"We are just focused on winning the games each and every day," Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor said. "We are not worrying about tomorrow or yesterday as we are preparing for the task at hand. We have a good group in here and a really deep team."
The Dodgers ran their MLB-best record to 75-31 and have now outscored opponents 43-26 during their winning streak. Maeda improved to 10-4 while striking out six and allowing just two hits and one walk. His seven scoreless innings matched the longest scoreless effort of his career.
"Kenta was outstanding," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "... From the first pitch to the last pitch, he was on the attack. The fastball held the velocity and he was just attacking the strike zone all night long with his mix, and it was just fun to watch."
• Feeling pressure, Maeda hurls scoreless start
The Braves rallied late with a Johan Camargo two-run homer in the eighth inning. Brandon Phillips followed with a single but was eventually stranded at third base, and Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth for his 28th save.
Despite the loss, Sims and Albies had solid debuts for the Braves. Sims allowed three runs over six innings and struck out three. According to Statcast™, Sims primarily used his two-seam fastball to balance his offspeed pitches. He collected six called strikes with the two-seamer as it topped out at 94.1 mph.
• Sims shows potential facing MLB-best Dodgers
Albies was hitless but made a nice play at second base and walked ahead of Camargo's homer. He figures to get more starts moving forward as the Braves look to snap a six-game losing streak.
• Prospect Albies makes MLB debut for Braves
"It'll turn eventually," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We just keep grinding through this thing and handling it and coming out every day and playing like that, and we'll be OK."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Puig's disruption: In the fifth inning, Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig manufactured the game-deciding run with his aggressive baserunning. Puig singled and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. He then stole third and scored on a throwing error by Braves catcher Tyler Flowers.
"Yasiel plays with a lot of energy and swings the bat well," Roberts said. "He had a couple nice hits with the double and a single. But the stolen base seemed to be the difference in the game."
Nick's assist: Braves right fielder Nick Markakis helped thwart an eighth-inning threat with a strong throw to home plate. With runners on first and second and two outs, Bellinger singled to right, but Markakis fired home just in time to nab Chase Utley, keeping the Braves' deficit at 3-0.
"It was huge," Snitker said. "In a game like that, just to keep it right there and keep us within striking distance, so that's big that late in the game."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ender Inciarte made another spectacular catch in the first inning against the Dodgers. He came in and snared a sinking line drive to rob Bellinger of a hit to end the frame. The catch registered as a four-star catch with a 26 percent catch probability, according to Statcast™.
The Dodgers issued a challenge in the fourth inning after center fielder Joc Pederson was picked off first base by Sims. It was determined that the call would stand after a replay review.
Dodgers:Brock Stewart will take the mound on Wednesday as the three-game series continues at 4:35 p.m. PT at SunTrust Park. Stewart last faced Atlanta on July 20, pitching two scoreless innings in relief.
Braves:Julio Teheran looks to get his first win since the All-Star break in the 7:35 p.m. ET contest against the Dodgers.
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