Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier made their mark on Monday night's game - mostly positive, with one memorably negative play - but it was Juan Uribe, Chris Capuano and the supporting cast that delivered in the Dodgers' 7-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a three-game series in front of a family-and-friends crowd at Dodger Stadium.
Much like the t-shirts he made for everyone in the clubhouse that feature his likeness and the phrase "You Can Do Better," Uribe did just that Monday night going 4-for-4 with three RBI.
The Dodgers are now 7-0 at home this season, their second best start at Dodger Stadium, behind only the 13-0 home start in 2009. The Dodgers have won eight straight home games and 12 of their last 13 at home dating back to last season.
If the Dodgers offense is going to produce this season, it will need more than Kemp and Ethier, and in the bottom of the second inning they got it. James Loney continued his hot hitting with a leadoff double, his sixth extra-base hit in his last eight starts. Uribe then drove in Loney with a base hit to right field, and scored one batter later on a single by A.J. Ellis.
That trio struck again in the fourth inning with three successive singles, with Ellis driving in Loney, and Uribe scoring on a sacrifice fly by Dee Gordon. Uribe capped the scoring with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth that earned closer Javy Guerra a night of rest, taking the game out of a save situation.
Loney, Uribe, and Ellis combined to go 8-for-11 with four runs scored and five RBI.
Uribe entered the game with no runs scored over 40 plate appearances in 11 games on the season. He scored twice tonight.
The Braves scored their first run on a booming home run by in the second inning by David Ross, who hit a ball over the cameraman in center field. It looked like they might score more as Atlanta had multiple runners on base in the first, fourth, and fifth innings, but Capuano escaped with no further damage.
After recording 14, 16, and 18 outs in his first three starts, Capuano continued to wade into deeper waters by retiring 21 Braves on Monday, including eight of the last nine batters he faced. He struck out five and walked four, allowing just the one run for his second win.
Kemp and Ethier tried to work their magic in the fifth inning with back-to-back singles to open the inning, but they then evoked shades of Babe Herman and the pre-Boys of Summer Brooklyn Dodgers. Kemp was on first when Ethier singled to center, and Kemp advanced to third. Only Kemp decided to go for more, up 5-1, as the throw came into second base. Jack Wilson fired home to easily nail Kemp then Ross alertly threw to first base to nab Ethier, who had strayed too far off the bag at first.
Two singles resulted in a 7-6-2-3 double play that prompted Vin Scully to quip, "Hello! The old Dodgers have arrived!" during the broadcast (hat tip to cldpc for that quote).
But the new Dodgers are 13-4.
Livan Hernandez pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief of Jair Jurrjens Monday night. It was the 480th game of Hernandez's career, and just the sixth relief appearance. Five of those relief appearances have come this season.
- After 9 2/3 scoreless frames, Josh Lindblom finally gave up a run on Monday, in his eighth appearance of the season, when Dan Uggla greeted him with a home run to right field in the eighth inning.
- Dee Gordon stole his ninth base of the season in the first inning, tying Emilio Bonifacio of the Miami Marlins for the major league lead.
Aaron Harang starts for the Dodgers on Tuesday night, making his fourth start of the season, and his first home start since striking out nine consecutive Padres on April 13. Southpaw Mike Minor gets the start for Atlanta.
Home Runs: David Ross (1), Dan Uggla (3)
WP - Chris Capuano (2-0): 7 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Jair Jurrjens (0-2): 3+ IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk