LOS ANGELES – Thanks to a Atlanta Braves third baseman celebrating his 40th birthday with a home run and a win on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to rebound and grab a good win in the final game of the three games series.
It was a very solid pitchers duel between the Dodgers Ted Lilly and the Braves Brandon Beachy as neither one gave any runs in the first three innings. Lilly ended up giving up the first score, after Freddie Freeman doubled to right, Brian McCann grounded out which advanced Freeman to third base. Dan Uggla blasted a single to left, that caused Freeman to score, Braves were up 1-0.
Just an inning later with Tony Gywnn Jr. and A.J. Ellis on third and second base, Dee Gordon grounds out to second, allowing Gwynn to score and tied up the game.
In the bottom of the sixth in the rain, Matt Kemp bashes a solo home run, his 10th on the season, that gave the Dodgers the lead.
Kensley Jensen came in for Lilly who pitched an outstanding game, seven strong innings.
Jensen set it up for closer Javy Guerra to do what he does best, get three outs and the victory for the Dodgers. Not so fast, as the ninth inning proved to be the game clinching inning for the Braves. Freeman singled to right to get on base. McCann reached on an infield single that ricocheted off of Guerra’s face, to advance Freeman to second base. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and the Dodger Training staff came to the mound to check on Guerra who continued the inning.
Next batter Dan Uggla hit a single to right center, Freeman scored and advanced Wilson to third base. Chipper Jones had a big clutch RBI single to right that scored Wilson, and moved Uggla to third base. Jason Heyward also hit a key single to left that caused Uggla to score and at that point, it was Jason Lindblom time as Guerra was replaced in the inning by Mattingly.
Lindblom ended the inning while getting Juan Fransisco to ground out into a double play. The Dodgers had one last inning to at least tie or win the game and take the series lead.
However that wouldn’t happen on this night, as reliever Craig Kimbrel struck out A.J. Ellis, and got Gordon to ground out to third base to end the game, as the Braves stole two out of three in this series from the Dodgers 4-2.
Chipper Jones left Dodger Stadium for the last time with more great memories to add to his collection.
Lilly threw 79 pitches, allowing a run and three hits, while Beachy allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, ironically a year ago he picked his first victory at Dodger Stadium.
Chipper Jones talked about his final trip at Dodger Stadium “I mean, that’s what you play the game for moments like that. You don’t know how many times I’ve rehearsed that very moment in my backyard growing up, only I was a Dodger.” He also added “It’s been a storybook season so far, it’s been one highlight after another. I’m savoring each and every one of them because you never know when the last one is going to come. To have revered this ballpark and this organization the way I did as a kid, and to leave it here tonight like this, it’s awfully special.”
Dodger first baseman James Loney spoke about the toughness of closer Javy Guerra “That just shows you how tough he is and how much he wants to be out there and compete. And you want a guy like that on your team! He has the mentality of a closer. You just shake off the last bad day and come out ready for the next one.”
*Jonny Venters picked up the win for the Braves as Guerra (1-3) was handed the loss for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will have to indeed shake this loss off and prepare for the Washington Nationals who come to town on Friday for a weekend series, as they prepare to win the next three games.