Dodgers 9, Braves 5: Messy & glorious 8-run inning powers the Dodgers to victory

After bouncing back with a series win against the Cardinals after a brief skid, the Dodgers traveled to Atlanta during their off day for a rematch of the 2020 NLCS. With the pitching staff holding down the fort on one end, the lineup put together a wild eight-run inning that powered them to an easy 9-5 win over the Braves.

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Julio Urias was looking to bounce back from his worst start of the season against the Giants last time out, giving up a whopping 11 hits in five innings. Things didn’t get off to the best of starts today, as Freddie Freeman was the second batter he faced in the game and he went ahead and smashed a solo shot to dead center to make it 1-0 early. Urias went on to give up a single and a walk in the inning as well, but didn’t get hurt further.

After a minor threat in the 2nd, Urias worked through drama-free innings in the 3rd and 4th frames.

Braves starter Ian Anderson started by rolling through the lineup, facing one over the minimum through four innings. He had an error go against him and walked two, but avoided trouble thanks to two double plays.

Suffice to say, the 5th was a different animal entirely. After a lineout to start, Chris Taylor walked and Gavin Lux followed with the first Dodger hit of the game, a double to right. AJ Pollock then hit a dribbler to third and Austin Riley pegged Taylor in the back to plate a run. Urias then laid down a bunt back to Anderson, who tossed to home plate but too late to get Lux, and all of a sudden it was 2-1 for the Dodgers. That was the end of the road for Anderson.

After new pitcher Sean Newcomb got a fly out, Albert Pujols pinch-hit and walked to load the bases, then Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger both walked as well to force home two more runs.

Old friend Grant Dayton then entered and immediately gave up a single to Will Smith to plate a run, and then CT3 ripped a double to left to clear the bases and plate three more. 8-1.

Dayton also got a scoreless 6th, and then Edgar Santana followed by retiring six straight in the 7th and 8th.

Now carrying a significant lead, Urias got a 1-2-3 frame in the 5th before he was removed. He ended up bouncing back nicely from the early run: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 83 Pitches.

Jimmy Nelson made his return to the Dodgers after recovering from his injury, getting two strikeouts in a perfect 6th. Mitch White duplicated the feat in the 7th, also getting two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning. However, he continued in the 8th and got into trouble with a jam-shot single and a walk. After a ground out left runners at the corners, Ozzie Albies doubled off the wall in right to score two and make it 8-3.

That led to Joe Kelly entering and he immediately gave up a single to corner the runners again. After getting a strikeout, he then gave up what seemed like an inning-ending routine fly ball to Pollock, but Lux ran out into left field and it clanged off his glove to score two and make it 8-5. Somehow that was ruled a double before being changed to an error, but either way three runs were charged to White and one to Kelly before Kelly got out of the 8th.

Thankfully, the Dodgers got insurance off Tyler Matzek in the 9th, as Mookie Betts led things off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch, and then scored on another wild pitch to make it 9-5.

It got more exciting than I wanted late, but Kenley Jansen entered to close things out since he was already hot. He walked back-to-back batters to start, but rebounded with a infield pop, strikeout, and fly out.

Still, the pen depth has to be able to allow the high-leverage arms to not overwork, man.

https://twitter.com/ChadMoriyama/status/1401011286494695427

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Uh, Max Muncy has right ankle soreness, which they can’t afford right now.

Entertainment has value.

Pablo Sandoval swinging is always art.

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The Dodgers improve to 34-23 on the year, a 97-win pace. They are now 1.5 games back of the Giants and 0.5 games back of the Padres in the NL West. Both those teams are still playing.

The series will get back at it tomorrow at 1:15 PM HST/4:15 PM PST/7:15 PM EST on FOX. Clayton Kershaw (3.33 ERA/3.06 FIP/3.56 DRA) will take the mound against Charlie Morton (4.26 ERA/3.75 FIP/3.47 DRA).

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times