Cody Bellinger hit his 30th home run of the year, but the Braves hit two home runs, including a pinch-hit home run by Tyler Flowers in the eighth inning that led the Braves to a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers. Brock Stewart was charged with two runs over four innings and Pedro Báez gave up the home run to Flowers.
Cody Bellinger continued to make headlines when he started the scoring with his 30th home run of the year. The home run came in the second inning with Bellinger leading off against Julio Teheran. Teheran, for some strange reason, threw Bellinger three straight fastballs. Bellinger took the first two, then hit the next one very far. It landed in the same area as his last home run, just a little farther from home plate. The home run tied the National League home run record for a left-handed rookie. It also gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Sadly, the Dodgers lead only lasted as long as the inning. In the bottom of the frame, the Braves had a runner on base with Danny Santana at the plate. Yasmani Grandal asked for a fastball high and over the plate. Stewart, however, missed the target badly. He threw the ball too low and inside, the part of the zone where Santana hits .379. That ball practically had, “HIT ME!” written all over it. When Santana saw that, he wasted no time in hitting it over the wall in right-center field. The home run quickly erased the Dodgers’ lead and it gave the Braves a 2-1 lead.
The Dodgers tied the game in the fourth inning then took the lead in the fifth. Chris Taylor led off by getting hit by a pitch, then he stole second base and advanced to third on a Bellinger sacrifice fly. Joc Pederson then hit the ball hard down the first base line, but Freddie Freeman was positioned perfectly to make a diving stop. He then touched first base but Taylor scored, tying the game. The Dodgers then re-took the lead in the fifth inning. Yasiel Puig was at second base with two outs and Chase Utley singled to left field. Puig rounded third to score, drawing the throw from Santana. When Utley saw that he ran for second base but the throw was cut off. Puig scored, tying the game, and Utley was tagged out between first and second, ending the inning. But the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead.
The Braves decided they don’t like trailing, so they tied the game in the fifth inning. Ender Inciarte led off the inning with a single, then advanced to second on a groundout. That brought Freddie Freeman to the plate. Stripling hung a slider on the first pitch and Freeman lined it into center field. Inciarte scored and the game was tied at three.
The tie was finally broken in the eighth inning, but not in the way we would have liked. Pedro Báez recorded the first two outs without any trouble and it looked like the game would be tied in the ninth. Báez then walked the next batter. Fyler Flowers then entered as a pinch-hitter and gave the Braves the lead. The first pitch was a slider that was supposed to be down low, but that Báez threw it way too high. Flowers said, “Thank you very much,” then he hit it over the right field wall. The Braves took a 5-3 lead and they never gave it back.
Keys To The Game:
Grandal Gets Hit By Foul Tip:
Okay, this does not technically qualify for Keys To The Game, but there was nowhere else to put it. In the fifth inning, Yasmani Grandal was hit in the knee cap by a foul tip. He was shaken up but he stayed in the game.
Keeping It Tied:
In the seventh inning, the Dodgers were in some trouble, but they managed to get out of it unharmed. The Braves had runners on first and second with two outs and Nick Markakis at the plate. Markakis hit a comebacker that rebounded off of Luis Avilan‘s leg. Logan Forsythe made a diving stop to keep the ball from going into center field. There was nowhere for him to throw and get a force out, but Freddie Freeman rounded third and headed for home. Without hesitating, Forsythe stood up and threw home in time to nab Freeman and keep the game tied.
Alex Wood will take the mound for the Dodgers in the rubber match of the three-game series and Sean Newcomb will take the mound for the Braves. Wood will be facing his former team for the second time this year. In his first appearance against Atlanta this year, he allowed nine earned runs in his worst start of the year. Newcomb pitched six solid innings in a start against the Dodgers on July 23, but he has struggled with control issues, making his results inconsistent. The Dodges are trying to avoid their first series loss since the Nationals took two out of three games in early June. The game will start at 4:35 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA.