Yasiel Puig made his triumphant return from the disabled list on Saturday evening as the Dodgers beat the struggling Braves 5-1 to take another one from Atlanta at Sun Trust Park. The Dodgers have won three consecutive games over the Braves with Atlanta pitching issuing 14 walks over the last two days. But getting back to Puig, he was magnificent in his return hitting a home run and driving in three of the Dodger’s five runs on the day.
It’s certainly great to have Puig back but Alex Wood contributed to the win by turning in another quality start. Wood tossed 5.2 of shutout innings allowing just one hit and striking out five. He was a bit wild walking four and hitting a batter, but still pitched very well. Wood was taken out with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and earned his seventh victory of the season. He’s now 6-0 over his last six decisions.
The Dodger bats scored one run in the second, two in the sixth and added another two in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. The Dodgers were also aided by turning three double plays in the field.
Dodgers 5 6 2
Braves 1 3 1
Opposing starter Max Fried looked impressive early on, striking out two in the opening frame. However the Dodgers got to him in the second. Enrique Hernandez singled and Cody Bellinger was plunked with a pitch. Logan’s line out to center advanced Hernandez to third, but an errant throw from Ender Inciarte hit Enrique in the back of the neck. That allowed Bellinger to go to second. Hernandez would score on a sacrifice fly from Puig to put the Dodgers on the board.
Wood was a little shaky in the opening innings. In the bottom of the first former Dodger Charlie Culberson’s double hit the top of the wall. It was only a few feet from going out. Wood would strikeout Freddie Freeman and get Nick Markakis to fly out. In the bottom of the second Wood walked Tyler Flowers, but got three ground outs to end the inning. He had very little trouble afterwards.
Move to the top of the sixth. With the Dodgers still leading 1-0, Bellinger walked and with two outs Puig crushed a laser shot to left field for a two-run home run that put the Dodgers ahead 3-0. That’s Puig’s twelfth home run of the season. In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs Freeman reaches on a throwing error from Taylor. There was a wild pitch and a walk to Markakis to put two on for the Braves. With Flowers successful against lefties, JT Chargois is brought in and strikes him out for the third out.
Left hander Caleb Ferguson pitched the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings. Johan Camargo hit a solo home run in the seventh for the lone Atlanta run. Otherwise that was the only hit he would allow over the two frames. He induced a key double play in the eighth off the bat of Markakis to squelch an Atlanta rally.
The Dodgers added additional runs in the top of the ninth. Back-to-back walks to Puig and Austin Barnes setup RBI singles from Taylor and Manny Machado to increase the Dodger lead to 5-1. Erik Goeddel pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to secure the win. Dodgers win it 5-1!
The Braves have really fallen back in the National League East race. They’ve lost four consecutive games and seven of their last ten games. They’re currently 2.5 games back of Philadelphia. The Dodgers on the other hand have won seven of their last ten contests. They currently have a two game lead in the National League West. It will be 2.5 if Arizona loses in San Diego.
On a stupider note, apparently the Atlanta broadcasters called the Dodgers “embarrassments” for not wearing their full uniforms during batting practice. Keep in mind this is batting practice! They’re just salty because Atlanta is losing. I like Chad’s request though. Perhaps the entire team can wear suits and ties as well. The Dodgers go for the sweep on Sunday as they wrap up the road trip. Ross Stripling will take on southpaw Sean Newcomb with first pitch scheduled for 10:35 AM PST.