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Dodgers get another slow start, but finish in style

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Wednesday night saw another slow start for the Dodgers but unlike the series opener they didn't let things get out of hand. Some great relief worked paved the way for the Dodgers to come back, culminating in a two-run 10th inning rally to beat the Braves ... in the middle game of a series at Turner Field in Atlanta.

Chase Utley started the rally in the 10th with a single against Braves closer Jason Grilli, then stole second. Two batters later, Justin Turner hit a fly ball that was misjudged by center fielder Mallex Smith, who couldn't corral what ended up the go-ahead single.

Yasmani Grandal plated an insurance run with an RBI single of his own, one of four times he reached base on the night.

The Dodgers improved to 2-1 in extra-inning games this season.

Ross Stripling ended his run of quality starts at two, unable to finish the fourth inning in his third major league start. He labored to that point, needing 76 pitches to record 11 outs while allowing eight runners to reach base.

The final blow was a breaking ball destined for the dirt low and away that was instead served into center field for a two-run single by Daniel Castro, who wasn't even originally slated to start this game. Adonis Garcia was penciled into the lineup at third base but was a pregame scratch with a left knee contusion.

That substitution helped the Braves to a 3-0 lead, but the Dodgers' substitution on the mound allowed them to claw back.

Adam Liberatore got the final out of the fourth inning after Stripling exited, then J.P. Howell got five outs and Chris Hatcher four outs to get through the fifth, sixth and seventh frames.

The Dodgers clawed back when a single by Howie Kendrick in the fifth inning was misplayed by Nick Markakis in right field, putting Kendrick on third. Joc Pederson drove him in for the Dodgers' first run, then in the sixth inning Adrian Gonzalez took Julio Teheran deep for a two-run home run to tie it.

Yimi Garcia allowed a leadoff single in the eighth but got through otherwise unscathed, then Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win.

Kenley Jansen slammed the door in the 10th for his sixth save. The Dodgers bullpen retired 19 of 21 batters faced on the night.

Up next

These two teams are right back at it bright and early on Thursday morning, with Clayton Kershaw starting for the Dodgers at 9:10 a.m. PT. Atlanta will counter with Matt Wisler in the series finale.

Wednesday particulars

Home run: Adrian Gonzalez (2)

WP - Joe Blanton (1-1): 1 IP, 1 walk

LP - Jason Grilli (1-1): ⅓ IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Sv - Kenley Jansen (6): 1 IP,  1 strikeout