After finally losing a series, to the road Rockies of all teams, the Dodgers had a big start to the big series against the Braves, taking the opener 5-3.
The offense broke out of their slump with homers in the game’s first three innings, which Julio Urias and the pen managed to make stick.
A struggling lineup went up against the type of pitcher they tend to scuffle against in Drew Smyly, as he’s a crafty lefty with a curve. However, they thankfully went against the trend tonight.
The 3rd brought forth a crooked number, as Mookie Betts led things off with his 18th homer of the year, Justin Turner followed with a single, and later Corey Seager smashed his seventh dinger, a two-run shot that made it 5-0.
Despite the homers, the Dodgers still only got two at-bats with runners in scoring position today.
The Dodgers are down to effectively three starters and cannot afford any of them to struggle, so Urias rebounding from a rough June stretch to post a 1.75 ERA in July and August has been huge. Tonight he posted another quality outing to close out the month.
For the most part, Urias was dominant and efficient, getting whiffs and keeping his pitch count down while retiring the first 12 batters he faced in the game. That was broken up in the 5th, when Austin Riley rifled a ball down the third-base line, Turner made a diving stop, and Muncy was unable to scoop it for an infield single. Two batters later Urias allowed a more routine single, but he got out of the inning without allowing a run.
Urias was then an out away from a scoreless outing, but gave up back-to-back homers to Jorge Soler and Freddie Freeman to make it 5-2. He got the last out of the 6th, but it was a blemish on his otherwise outstanding start: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 86 Pitches.
Corey Knebel started the 8th, giving up a one-out single and then getting the second out on an attempted steal where Soler’s bat hit Smith on the back, leading to the umpires to call him out for interference and sending the runner back to first.
Blake Treinen was summoned to face Freeman and got him to ground out, then went for a four-out save by continuing in the 9th. After a ground out, there were back-to-back singles to bring the winning run to the plate, but Treinen rebounded nicely with a strikeout and then a fly out to end it.
I was … nervous.
The Dodgers improve to 83-49 on the year and are now just 1.5 games back of the Giants in the NL West.
Series continues same time tomorrow at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET with Walker Buehler against Charlie Morton.