ATLANTA -- Clayton Kershaw persevered while surrendering a season-high 10 hits and ultimately provided Yasmani Grandal the chance to deliver a decisive 10th-inning double in the Dodgers' 2-1, 10-inning win over the Braves at Turner Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Grandal's one-out double off Alexi Ogando scored Enrique Hernandez from first base and enabled the Dodgers to end this three-game set with consecutive 10-inning victories over the Braves, who had entered Wednesday having won four straight games since beginning the season with nine straight losses.
The Braves recorded five hits before Kershaw notched his fourth out, but the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner used 10 strikeouts and a couple of timely groundouts to limit the damage over eight innings. The Braves' lone run came courtesy of consecutive doubles from Erick Aybar and Daniel Castro to begin the bottom of the first.
Unfazed by the lingering effects of Sunday's six-pitch emergency relief appearance or his matchup against Kershaw, Matt Wisler limited the Dodgers to one unearned run as he threw a career-high 115 pitches over 6 2/3 innings. The first of Adonis Garcia's two errors -- an errant throw to first base -- extended the first inning long enough for Joc Pederson to record an RBI single on a lazy fly ball that was briefly in Drew Stubbs' glove as he dove through the shallow left-field grass.
"I think our record this year is not a great indication of how we've competed and how we've played most of the year," Stubbs said. "I think we could very easily have a winning record right now. We've been in most every game. We just have to keep moving forward."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Roll with the punchouts: Kershaw worked plenty out of the stretch, but he made pitches when he needed to. He allowed 10 hits -- equal to the combined total of his previous three starts -- but he escaped three threats with strikeouts. Braves rookie center fielder Mallex Smith accounted for three of those strikeouts, with the most costly occurring in the bottom of the second inning, which began with three straight singles and ended with Wisler grounding into a bases-loaded double play.
"I really look at it as two games, almost," said Kershaw. "The defense bailed me out; Chase [Utley] made an awesome play in the second inning. Really from there, I kind of refocused a little bit. The last six innings were better."
"The play by Chase, the double-play ball off the bat of Wisler was a game-changer," agreed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "We made some plays out there defensively for Clayton, but every time he takes the mound, we feel good." More >
Up to the challenge: Wisler produced one of the best starts of his young career and could have easily completed seven scoreless innings. After he erased Garcia's second error with a double play in the seventh, Atlanta's young right-hander saw Kershaw reach first base on a two-out fly ball that hit the grass after Smith and Jeff Francoeur collided in right-center field. Francoeur negated the potential damage of Smith's overaggressive pursuit by making a strong throw that denied Kershaw's attempt to score on Corey Seager's single off Eric O'Flaherty. More >
Running away from prosperity: Though Kershaw surrendered a double-digit hit total for just the fourth time in 246 career starts, the Braves had some baserunning blunders and weren't able to take advantage. Castro quieted the first-inning threat when he attempted to extend his double into a triple. Freddie Freeman delivered a leadoff single in the sixth inning, but was called out when second-base umpire Ted Barrett ruled he came off the bag attempting to advance to second base on a passed ball. Replays indicated Freeman never lost contact, but the Braves did not have an available challenge. This proved costly when Garcia followed with what could have been a go-ahead single.
Off-the-benchmark: Grandal was supposed to be getting a day off. Instead he came off the bench and gave the Dodgers a huge lift, driving in the go-ahead and what proved to be the winning run in the 10th inning with a double to left-center field. Grandal went 3-for-4 with two RBIs over the final two games of the series and is now hitting a robust .438 for the season (7-for-16).
"It's always good to come off the bench and be able to help your team," Grandal said.
"I'm really proud of our club. They stuck their nose in there and got 10 hits off Kershaw. We just couldn't get that one to cross the plate. You can see why [Kershaw] is what he is. He elevates his game when he gets men on base and people in scoring position. His [velocity] goes up and his breaking ball gets better. That's why he is a true ace." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
The first of this game's two influential replay reviews occurred in the first inning when the Braves' Castro tried to extend his RBI double into a triple, and he was tagged for the first out of the inning. After a Braves challenge, the call was confirmed.
In the top of the seventh with the score tied at 1, Kershaw was tagged out attempting to score on Seager's single, after a strong throw to the plate from Francouer. The Dodgers challenged, but the call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: After getting a one-series respite, the Dodgers resume divisional play, getting their first look at the Colorado Rockies this weekend to conclude their six-game road trip. L.A. was 4-5 in Denver last season, but dropped the final four games and five of the last six. Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.43) will try to get back on track, with first pitch scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT at Coors Field.
Braves:Bud Norris will take the mound when the Braves open a three-game series against the reigning National League champion Mets on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET. New York will counter with Matt Harvey, who has allowed opponents a .365 on-base percentage during his first three starts.