Manny Machado hit his first home run as a Dodger in the sixth inning and Rich Hill shut down the Braves for seven innings as the Dodgers beat Atlanta 8-2. Hill, who has grown an impressive beard, has begun to look like the pitcher the Dodgers need. Last night, he pitched seven innings, allowing just three hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Hill was dominant against the Braves. He kept opposing hitters off balance by throwing his two pitches from different arm angles and making his curveball break in different directions. His good game even went beyond the mound this time. At the plate, Hill finally figured out how to use a bat, hitting an RBI single, and eventually scoring a run. He picked up his first RBI of the year and his eleventh career RBI.
Now its time to talk about the Dodgers bats. The Dodgers took advantage of a Braves throwing error in the fifth inning to score two runs. The inning was highlighted by Alex Verdugo‘s RBI single. Verdugo struggled when he made his debut last September. In fifteen games, he only managed to collect four hits. This year, he has 13 hits in 13 games.
And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: Manny Machado’s first Dodger home run. We knew it would only be a matter of time before he hit it. So here’s what happened. Machado came to the plate to lead off the sixth inning. He like the first pitch he saw, so he hit it into the seats in left-center field. There was no doubt about the homer.
The Dodgers continued to score runs with RBI singles and doubles, going 4-11 with runners in scoring position to earn the win. The only mistake the Dodgers made was when Daniel Hudson gave up a two-run home run against Ronald Acuña Jr. in the eighth inning.
Game two of the series will feature a battle between Clayton Kershaw and Mike Foltynewicz at 4:10pm. In his career against the Braves, Kershaw has a 3-0 record with a 1.47 ERA. He pitched well in his last start, but he didn’t have the support of his defense, causing him to take the loss.