Alex Wood's return to Atlanta didn't go nearly how he wanted, and the Dodgers were unable to dig out of an early hole in their 8-1 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field.
The Braves got to Wood with two runs in three different innings — the first, third and fourth frames — with Tyler Flowers contributing three separate RBI singles in the onslaught.
Wood was not helped by his teammates in the field, with errors by Justin Turner and Corey Seager plus a passed ball by Yasmani Grandal, which meant three of the six runs allowed by Wood were unearned, but that didn't make the cost easier for the Dodgers to bear.
The offense certainly didn't help, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and not scoring until a run-scoring ground out in the fifth inning when the Dodgers were already trailing by six runs.
That Wood allowed 12 runners to reach base — seven hits, three walks, and two hit batsmen — without the errors while recording only 12 outs meant he deserved the brunt of the blame.
Wood's start meant the Dodgers had little margin for error, and it was in the margins where the Braves cleaned up.
After Turner's error on a play that would have ended the third inning, Wood responded by walking Mallex Smith with the bases loaded. 4-0 Braves.
After Seager's error on a play that would have ended the fourth, Wood allowed run-scoring singles to Jeff Francoeur and Flowers.
What a relief
After a long weekend series that saw the Braves bullpen log 13 innings in three games, Atlanta not only added an eighth reliever to the staff for this series but also shuffled the rotation since starter Matt Wisler — originally slated to start on Tuesday — pitched one of those 13 innings, on Sunday.
That meant Williams Perez got the start for the Braves on Tuesday, on three days rest. After totaling just nine innings in his first two starts, Perez was limited against the Dodgers but he didn't show it, taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning, though he did walk three. He hit the wall in the fourth inning, allowing two hits, and was pulled after 56 pitches and 3⅓ innings, but the Dodgers couldn't cash in any of the runners.
Ryan Weber, the eighth reliever called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, gave the Braves exacty what they needed, with 3⅔ innings of solid relief, allowing only a run on three hits while striking out four and walking none. Because Perez didn't go the requisite five innings, Weber got the win in relief, his first major league victory.
Francoeur entered Tuesday 1-for-12 (.083) with a walk, but his two singles made him 7-for-15 (.467) in his career against Wood.
Flowers tied his career high with four hits, set two other times.
Turner made another error in the seventh inning, giving the Dodgers three on the night, after entering Tuesday with a National League-low four errors in the first 13 games of the season.
Grandal walked in the second inning, his seventh consecutive plate appearance reaching base, a streak snapped in his next at-bat.
Atlanta added two runs in the seventh inning, off Louis Coleman and J.P. Howell, snapping the Dodgers' streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings against the bullpen.
Old friend Chris Withrow retired Yasiel Puig to end the eighth inning, his first appearance against his old team. Since returning from Tommy John surgery, Withrow has allowed one run in six appearances over 4⅓ innings.
The Dodgers will turn to Ross Stripling on Wednesday night in the middle game of the series, while the Braves will have Julio Teheran start on the mound.
Home runs: none
WP - Ryan Weber (1-0): 3⅔ IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts
LP - Alex Wood (1-2): 4 IP, 7 hits, 6 runs (3 earned runs), 3 walks, 1 strikeout