The Atlanta Braves ended their road trip in dramatic fashion Wednesday with a three-run rally in the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 and win the series. The win left the Braves flying home with a 5-2 record against Arizona and L.A.
Down 2-1, Braves hitters were tasked with scoring at least one run off Dodgers closer Javy Guerra, who also took the loss Tuesday night. With one out, Freddie Freeman singled to right on a line drive.
Brian McCann then nearly killed Guerra.
On an 0-2 count, McCann shot a line drive right back through the box, hitting Guerra in the chin and ricocheting to Dee Gordon for a single. Guerra somehow stayed in the game and gave up three straight RBI-singles to Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward.
"I never faced him before and he threw me that first pitch, and I was like, 'Oh boy, I’ve got my hands full here,'" Jones said. "But he made a mistake to a couple of guys in that inning and we didn’t miss them."
The Braves had been held to a single run on three hits by Ted Lilly for seven innings, and Brandon Beachy turned out another solid performance with two runs in 6 1/3 innings. His Major League-leading ERA raised to 1.05.
But it was the Atlanta relief core that stole the show. Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel combined to strike out six consecutive batters. That streak was only snapped when Gordon grounded out Chipper in his final trip to Dodger Stadium to end the game.
"It’s been a storybook season so far," Jones said. "It’s been one highlight after another, and man, I’m savoring each and every one of them. Because you never know when the next one is going to come. And to have revered this ballpark and this [Dodgers] organization the way I did as a kid, and to leave it here tonight, it’s awful special."
The Braves get a day off Thursday but pick things up Friday for a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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