Yasiel Puig wasted no time getting back into the swing of the offense, smashing a two-run homer, driving in another on a sacrifice fly and scoring a run for the Dodgers in a 5-1 win over Atlanta.
After missing the last 15 games on the disabled list with a right oblique strain, the Dodgers activated Puig ahead of Saturday’s game with the Braves. In his first plate appearance in three weeks, Puig lined the first pitch he saw to the warning track in right to bring Kiké Hernandez home from third.
With two out and one aboard in the sixth inning, Braves’ reliever Luke Jackson hung a slider that Puig pulled down the left field line into the Dodger bullpen to give his club a 3-0 lead. It was the 12th homer of the year for the Dodger outfielder.
The win gives the Dodgers their sixth win of the road trip in nine games, concluding Sunday afternoon as Los Angeles goes for the four-game sweep.
Alex Wood finished his excellent month of July with 5 2⁄3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while walking four and striking out five. The lefty came up one out shy of turning in his seventh consecutive start of at least six innings when Chris Taylor botched an inning-ending ground ball in the sixth.
Freddie Freeman hit a weak grounder towards second base that hit off Taylor’s glove as he attempted to field it from his position in the shift. Wood lasted just one batter more after walking Nick Markakis, the first lefty Wood has walked all year long.
JT Chargois came on to strikeout Tyler Flowers to end the threat on four pitches.
Wood has completely turned his season around over his last eight starts. The left-hander was 1-5 with a 4.43 ERA after losing to the Braves back on June 9. Since that day, Wood is 6-0 with a 2.61 ERA, allowing 15 runs (14 earned) in 48 1⁄3 innings.
Already with two three-inning saves on the year, the Dodgers turned to Caleb Ferguson in the seventh. Despite giving up a solo homer to Johan Camargo on 10 pitches to start his night, Ferguson completed two innings without any further complications.
Kenley Jansen was warming in the bullpen with the Dodgers up two, but wouldn’t be needed after his teammates plated a pair of runs in the top half of the ninth. Taylor and Manny Machado each came through with a RBI-single to center to stretch the Dodger lead to four.
Instead, Erik Goeddel finished the game with an easy six-pitch ninth for the Dodgers fifth win in six games this year with Atlanta.
The Dodgers go for the four-game sweep with Ross Stripling (8-2, 2.43) on the mound against Sean Newcomb (9-5, 3.41).
Home runs: Puig (12), Camargo (11)
WP - Alex Wood (7-5): 5 2⁄3 IP, 1 hit, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Max Fried (1-4): 5 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts