Coming off a series win against the Padres that unfortunately ended with a dramatic walk-off loss, the Dodgers bounced right back against the Braves behind Chris Taylor‘s renewed hotness and Walker Buehler continuing to find his stuff in a 5-3 victory.
Unlike in their series with the Padres, where they fell behind in every game, the Dodgers jumped out to an early lead against Kevin Gausman.
In the 1st, Cody Bellinger manufactured a rally himself, dropping a one-out bunt for a single and advancing to second on an error.
Justin Turner followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and the scoring got started after a Corey Seager ground out led to a run, making it 1-0.
The bats manufactured another in the 2nd behind a one-out single from Alex Verdugo, a single from Austin Barnes, and a passed ball from Brian McCann to plate Verdugo and make it 2-0.
A rally in the 3rd led to the lead doubling, as a one-out double from JT was followed by walks from Seager and Max Muncy to load the bases. Taylor then came up clutch with a single to left that led to a confusing play at third.
Verdugo followed with a sacrifice fly to plate another, though I think he thought he should’ve had more.
The offense took an inning off after that but came back again in the 5th. A one-out single from Seager was followed by a Muncy walk, and CT3 again came up with a big hit, lining the first pitch down the line in right for a run to make it 5-0.
That seemed like more than enough for Buehler, who was absolutely rolling along. He pitched a shutout through five and looked like he recaptured his dominant 2018 form. However, a Freddie Freeman two-run homer in the 6th and a Nick Markakis solo home run in the 7th ruined his evening a bit, cutting the lead to just two at 5-3.
Still, it’s hard not to see this outing a sign that he’s rounding into form. Buehler allowed just three hits other than the homers and walked none while striking out eight batters in seven innings.
Pedro Baez relieved him in the 8th, cruising through a 1-2-3 frame and looking every bit like a credible setup man. With Kenley Jansen out after appearances three days in a row, Julio Urias was tasked with closing the game. He faced the heart of the order and got Freeman, Ronald Acuna, and Markakis in a 1-2-3 frame that included a strikeout.
The Dodgers improve to 23-14 on the season (101-win pace) and play the Braves again tomorrow at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. Hyun-Jin Ryu will look to continue his impressive year against Max Fried.