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Dodgers threaten against Kimbrel, lose to Braves anyway

Mike Zarrilli

The Dodgers got the short end of the stick on Wednesday night, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Braves to snap a three-game winning streak, and they also lost starter Hyun-jin Ryu to a strained right gluteus muscle.

A loss like this was bound to happen at some point for the Dodgers, who had won their last six one-run contests and nine of their last 10 one-run games. Even with the loss, the Dodgers are 22-16 in one-run games this season.

The Dodgers got on the board first thanks to five hits in the second inning, good enough to plate two runs though a potential larger inning was hindered by a double-play grounder by A.J. Ellis.

A leadoff double by Evan Gattis in the bottom of the inning led to a run that cut the Dodgers' 2-0 lead in half, then the game came down to a series of individual battles that didn't go the Dodgers' way.

With two outs in the fourth inning and runners at the corners, Andrelton Simmons - playing in his first game in eight days after an ankle injury - reached out to drop an outside pitch into short right field to drive home the tying run.

In the fifth inning Dee Gordon led off with a single, then engaged with Ervin Santana in a test of wills. Over the next three batters Santana threw over to first base 12 different times, and finally on the 12th pitch delivered since Gordon reached first, he stole his 53rd base of the season, and his first since Aug. 2.

But despite the distraction, Santana was able to strike out two of the other three batters in the inning to escape unscathed.

In the bottom of the fifth inning with Jason Heyward on second base and two outs, Justin Upton singled to right to give Atlanta the lead.

In the top of the sixth inning with Carl Crawford on third base and one out, A.J. Ellis struck out, then Miguel Rojas was intentionally walked to get to Ryu, who struck out to end the frame.

The Dodgers got exactly what they wanted against Craig Kimbrel, putting two runners on with the meat of the order coming up with nobody out in the ninth. But after Yasiel Puig struck out, Gonzalez delivered a hit with runners in scoring position, only it was hit right at Upton in left field, who came close enough to catching the ball that the runners had to hold. Upton then threw to second base, which was a mistake as Dee Gordon made it easily while Andre Ethier was hung up between second and third.

Matt Kemp, who doubled earlier in the game, was up with the bases loaded and one out, but his sharp ground ball was right at second baseman Phil Gosselin for a tailor-made double play to end the game.

Kmbrel picked up his 35th save of the season, dropping Los Angeles to 0-43 this season when trailing after seven innings.

Up next

The two teams are back at it again quite soon, with a Thursday morning (9 a.m. PT) series finale on getaway day. Roberto Hernandez makes his second start as a Dodger, while old friend Aaron Harang gets the call for Atlanta.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Ervin Santana (12-6): 6 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts

LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (13-6): 5⅔ IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Sv - Kimbrel (35): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout