After an huge inning in Friday’s win in Atlanta, the Dodgers offense mostly had a quiet weekend, culminating in a 4-2 loss to the Braves on Sunday afternoon at Truist Park.
Max Fried stifled the Dodgers through six innings, allowing only a run while striking out four and keeping the ball mostly on the infield, with 10 groundouts. The supposedly shaky Atlanta bullpen proved anything but over the last two days of the series. After four scoreless frames on Saturday, three Braves relievers combined to allow only one run in the series finale.
The Dodgers scored eight runs in the fifth inning on Friday, and since then scored seven runs in 22 innings.
Albert Pujols drove in both Dodgers runs on Sunday, with a single in the fourth off Fried, then a solo home run off Will Smith in the ninth. Pujols since joining the Dodgers is 10-for-28 (.357) with three home runs and two doubles against left-handed pitchers.
The home run for Pujols was his 671st, and it gave him 5,980 total bases in his career, passing Barry Bonds for fourth all-time.
It was a heavy traffic day for Atlanta against Trevor Bauer, whose six hits allowed were his most this season, while also walking four for the third time in his last four starts. In that respect, things could have been worse, since Bauer limited the damage to single runs in the second, third, and sixth innings.
The Braves were just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position against Bauer, who struck out seven, giving him 103 strikeouts on the season, one behind Max Scherzer for the National League lead.
Bauer also allowed a pair of RBI doubles on his four-seam fastball, which had its lowest average spin rate (2,612 rpm) in his last 29 starts, and down 223 rpm from his average fastball in 2021. But more on that later.
It was still a winnable game, with Bauer allowing three runs in six innings, the Dodgers’ 35th quality start of the season, seven more than any other team.
Three different Dodgers suffered leg injuries during the series. First was Max Muncy, who left Friday’s game with a mild ankle sprain. He didn’t play on Saturday, and was limited to pinch-hitting duty on Sunday, flying out with the tying runs on base to end the seventh.
Dave Roberts said before the game he’s “hopeful” Muncy will be able to start when the Dodgers next play, on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
On Saturday, it was Austin Barnes who suffered the mild ankle sprain at first base. He remained in the game behind the plate, and even batted again, but didn’t play on Sunday. Roberts said Barnes would be available to catch in an emergency on both Sunday and Tuesday, but the ankle bothers Barnes while hitting.
In the series finale on Sunday, Chris Taylor fouled a ball directly off his left knee in the fourth inning, but stayed in the game after a long consultation with trainer Yosuke Nakajima. Taylor was called out on strikes, on an inside pitch much to his chagrin, to end that at-bat, then he grounded out in the sixth and flew out to deep center in the eighth.
Home run: Albert Pujols (9)
WP — Max Fried (3-3): 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts
LP — Trevor Bauer (6-4): 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Sv — Will Smith (11): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout
Monday is an off day for the Dodgers, who travel to Pittsburgh next to finish the road trip. Walker Buehler starts on Tuesday’s series opener at PNC Park, against fellow 2015 draftee JT Brubaker for the Pirates.