By Mark Bowman and Jaylon Thompson
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
ATLANTA -- It has been two months since the Dodgers lost a series and one month since they lost to any team not based out of Atlanta. They extended both of these streaks on Thursday night, when Alex Wood delivered six solid innings and Chris Taylor homered in a 7-4 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.
"It was a good win, as any time you can win the rubber match in a series, it is big," Taylor said. "They have a good team and we played some good games against them."
The Dodgers took two of three during this trip to Atlanta and have now gone 40-7 since suffering their last series loss in early June against the Nationals. They have won 21 of 24 dating back to July 4 and the Braves accounted for each of the three losses within this span. These torrid streaks have enabled the Dodgers to produce the National League's best record (76-32) through 108 games since the 1944 Cardinals.
"Every win is big and those guys play the game the right way," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "[Braves manager] Brian [Snitker] has those guys playing baseball the way we play. ... It doesn't matter the opponent, as they are all tough. I commend those guys for how they go about their business."
Wood recorded his 13th win and avenged his only loss of the season as he limited his original organization to one run over six somewhat stressful innings. Tyler Flowers' first-inning RBI single accounted for the only support given to Braves rookie Sean Newcomb, who battled all-too-familiar control issues as he needed 110 pitches (62 strikes) to complete 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander was fortunate to allow just three runs while issuing six unintentional walks.
"I've just got to do a better job of pounding the zone and stop trying to miss so many bats," Newcomb said. "I think I'm trying to be too fine, trying to punch people out and make things happen myself, instead of letting them hit it by getting it in the zone a little more."
Ozzie Albies recorded his first career hit in the ninth inning when he ripped a three-run homer off Tony Cingrani, who was making his first appearance since being acquired by the Dodgers on Monday. Albies made his Major League debut Tuesday. MLBPipeline.com ranks him as the game's 19th-best prospect.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Taylor's go-ahead jack: After issuing a bases-loaded walk to Logan Forsythe in the third inning, Newcomb issued Yasiel Puig a four-pitch walk to begin the fourth. Two batters later, Taylor, who had three hits and three runs scored, jumped on an elevated fastball and drove it over the center-field fence for his 13th homer of the season. The two-run shot traveled a projected 402 feet with a 102.6-mph exit velocity, per Statcast™. Newcomb admitted he was not aggressive enough with the pitch because he was simply trying to throw a strike.
"It was a hitter's count with a guy in scoring position," Taylor said. "I wanted to be aggressive and be ready for the fastball. He has good life on his fastball, and I wanted to get in front as he left the pitch over the middle."
Mistake aids escape: The Braves attempted to turn the tide when they used two walks and Ender Inciarte's single to load the bases with no outs in the fifth. But Lane Adams was picked off second base and Wood escaped unscathed by getting Brandon Phillips to ground into a double play. The Braves challenged the ruling on Adams, but after a replay review, it was determined that the call would stand. More >
"I actually thought about the pitch before that to be aware and I just let my guard down," Adams said. "It was bad timing. It was a big mistake and they took advantage of it."
"We're going to keep running him out there. That stuff is too good. I like watching him pitch. He competes really well. He's not trying to [walk guys]. It's going to have to be a continual working process." -- Snitker, on Newcomb
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Nick Markakis secured his 2,000th career hit with a fourth-inning single. The Braves' right fielder stands as one of 10 active players to reach this milestone. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Yu Darvish makes his much-anticipated Dodgers debut against the Mets at 4:10 p.m. PT on Friday at Citi Field. Darvish was acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Rangers and has struck out an impressive 10.9 batters per nine innings in four starts against NL teams this season.
Braves:R.A. Dickey will take the mound at SunTrust Park on Friday, when the Braves begin a three-game series against the Marlins at 7:35 p.m. ET. Dickey has allowed one or no runs in six of his past eight starts and he's lasted seven innings in two of his past three outings.