ATLANTA -- The Dodgers concluded their three-game series against the Braves at Turner Field on Wednesday afternoon with a 3-1 victory behind the arm of Mike Bolsinger, who gave Los Angeles seven strong innings.
Though Bolsinger didn't have the eye-catching numbers that opposing starter Julio Teheran put up, he held Atlanta batters to just one unearned run and three hits while retiring 14 consecutive batters from the third inning into the seventh. Los Angeles only managed to score during a three-run fifth inning, but it was more than enough to back Bolsinger's 98-pitch effort.
"Good all day," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his starter. "[He] wasn't walking anybody, [he was] throwing strikes and it seemed like he was able to kind of do what he wanted with the breaking ball. So good for us, we needed it today." More >
Teheran had arguably his best start of the season for the Braves, showing improved fastball command in the early innings and tying his career high with 11 strikeouts, including four straight strikeouts to start the game.
"He pitched well enough to win the game today," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It might have been his best outing he's had all year." More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The great Grandal: After missing two starts thanks to a foul tip off his face mask, Yasmani Grandal announced his return to the Dodgers' starting lineup by going 2-for-3 with a walk, including the leadoff double that sparked a three-run fifth inning. Grandal raised his average to .287 and his OPS to .930.
A stuttering step: The Dodgers' three-run fifth began with a misplay by Atlanta right fielder Nick Markakis. Grandal led off the inning by lining a 1-0 pitch to right. Markakis, a two-time American League Gold Glove Award winner, initially took two steps in before quickly retreating, but the ball carried over his head for a double. After Carl Crawford's groundout pushed Grandal to third with one out, Alberto Callaspo hit a sharp grounder past second baseman Jace Peterson to tie the score at 1. Jimmy Rollins followed with a run-scoring double and Joc Pederson added a run with a two-out single.
Kendrick at the keystone: A day after the Dodgers' defense had a rough game, Howie Kendrick put on a leather show. He started the first by robbing Peterson of a single with a diving stop to his right, then helped end the inning by starting a 4-6-3 double play. His defensive display continued in the sixth inning, when he essentially retired the side in order after three straight ground balls came his way.
"I thought Howie was incredible today," Mattingly said. "He made a bunch of good plays at second base. One time just getting the lead runner [at second base] in an area that a lot of guys won't make that throw, he's willing to do it. He had a couple of diving plays up the middle."
"I'm just having fun. I think I kind of lost that along the way back in July. I was thinking too much, and I think that's what hurts me the most is when I start thinking too much. And now I'm just kind of back to smiling, just having fun." -- Bolsinger
"It has been a different year. I'm just trying to work it out and control what I can control." -- Teheran
Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons snuck in behind Grandal at second base in the second inning and received a pickoff throw from Teheran. Grandal was initially called safe by second-base umpire John Hirschbeck, but Simmons immediately signaled the Atlanta dugout to challenge the play. After a quick 56-second review, the call was overturned and Grandal was called out to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for Los Angeles in the opener of a four-game series at Citi Field against the Mets on Thursday, with first pitch set for 4:10 p.m. PT. You have to go back 21 innings before you find the last time Kershaw has allowed a run, and the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner has posted a 0.58 ERA over his past four starts.
Braves: Atlanta hits the road for a 10-game swing that begins Friday in St. Louis at 8:15 p.m. ET, with rookie left-hander Manny Banuelos (1-1, 1.08 ERA) matching up against another rookie lefty, the Cardinals' Tim Cooney (0-0, 3.33 ERA). It's the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The Braves will also play the Orioles and Phillies in the swing before they return home Aug. 3 against the Giants.