The reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves put themselves in position to earn their first series victory of the season Wednesday by ending the Los Angeles Dodgers’ seven-game winning streak.
The Braves even used a bit of L.A. flair to earn a 3-1 victory on Tuesday. Los Angeles-area native Max Fried, who took a perfect game into the sixth, pitched seven shutout innings, and former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded the final three outs for his third save as a Brave.
In a sign of just how upside-down the game was, Jansen recorded the final out by getting former Braves standout Freddie Freeman to fly out to center field.
Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Braves, while Orlando Arcia had an RBI double among his three hits.
“(Arcia) has been swinging the bat good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of his left fielder, who has a .368 average and an .883 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. “It’s taking advantage of an opportunity and having some really good at-bats.”
The Braves have split a pair of four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres, and they dropped a three-game home series to the Washington Nationals.
Atlanta will now try to get the best of the three-game series at Los Angles with a rare midweek afternoon game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. Atlanta will send veteran Charlie Morton (1-1, 6.10 ERA) to the mound.
Morton struggled Thursday against the San Diego Padres when he gave up five runs on nine hits and three walks over five innings.
Morton didn’t see the Dodgers much in his first nine major league seasons, making just single starts against them in 2010 and 2015. But since the 2017 World Series, when he was a member of the Houston Astros, he has faced them six times, with four of those in the postseason.
He had two regular-season starts against the Dodgers last season, and he went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA over 11 innings. Morton is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA vs. Los Angeles in the playoffs.
The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 1.29 ERA) as they not only try to rebound from the end of their seven-game winning streak but also the end of a 20-game home winning streak dating back to last season.
Gonsolin has pitched just seven innings this season and has been followed in his two starts by left-hander Tyler Anderson, who has a 2.25 ERA in eight innings.
Gonsolin made his only regular-season appearance against the Braves in 2019, when he gave up one run over four innings. In five postseason appearances against Atlanta over the past two seasons, he produced a 10.45 ERA in 10 1/3 innings.
After they were shut down Tuesday, the Dodgers will try to return to being the offensive force that has scored four runs in an inning a major-league-leading seven times. They have scored five runs in an inning five times.
“I just know that baseball is contagious, hitting is contagious and we feed off each other,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “In the big innings, I think we collectively take walks to be able to build big innings, and I think we have been able to run the bases well, which creates situational-hitting (chances).”
Dodgers infielder/outfielder Gavin Lux was a late scratch Tuesday due to back tightness and is day-to-day.
–Field Level Media