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Late rally propels Dodgers into first place

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The Dodgers score two runs in the eighth inning to sweep the Braves

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers had some clutch hitting in the eighth, coming from behind to defeat the Braves, 4-3. Not only did LA pick up the sweep with the win.... BUT THE DODGERS ARE NOW IN SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST PLACE!!!!!

For the Dodgers, it’s their first time in first place since April 28.

“It’s a start,” Dave Roberts said following the game. “We’re getting there. We have to continue to play good baseball. theres a lot of baseball left.”

A lot to get to tonight, but we’ll start with the eighth inning. After Alex Vesia allowed a solo home run in the top half of the inning, the Dodgers entered the bottom of the inning trailing a run.

Trea Turner led off the bottom of the frame with a double, immediately putting the tying run in scoring position. Max Muncy advanced Turner to third base on a groundout, putting the tying run only 90 feet away. Mookie Betts couldn’t cash him in, striking out for the fourth time on the night, tying a career-high.

It all came down to Justin Turner, who stepped to the plate with two outs. On a 2-2 count, Turner singled through the hole on the left side, tying the game at three a piece.

Corey Seager then followed with a walk, advancing Turner to second base, where he represented the go-ahead run. AJ Pollock, who was the hero multiple times last week in San Diego, stepped up to the plate. He wasn’t there long, as he singled to left field on the first pitch, scoring Turner from second base to give the Dodgers the 4-3 lead.

With Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen unavailable tonight, Joe Kelly took the ball in the ninth. He retired the side on only 10 pitches, giving the Dodgers the victory.

All eyes on Scherzer

Max Scherzer had yet another dominant start for the Dodgers. He tossed six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while issuing zero walks. For the night, Scherzer struck out nine. In addition to the strikeouts, he had 20 swings and misses. Not bad for only six innings of work. It’s his third time with LA in which he’s struck out at least nine.

The Braves really didn’t do any damage against him. They had runners on first and second at one point, but he struck out Max Fried to end the inning. He was overpowering Atlanta all game and it looked as if he was on pace to potentially throw a shutout.

Then, the seventh inning happened.

After cruising through six innings, Scherzer wasn’t back out there for the seventh inning. Dodgers Twitter lost their mind (myself included) wondering why he was no longer in the game. Following the game, Scherzer told the media that he was dealing with some tightness in his hamstring and it was his decision to leave the game.

“I came out because I had a tight hamstring,” he said. “It tightened up in warm-ups. I didn’t injure it, I just knew it was tight. I’ve had this happen in the past. there’s time where this happens and you just got to work around it.”

Scherzer said he was able to push through, but after the sixth inning he knew that would be it for him. He said he couldn’t get enough strength from his back leg, which was putting more stress on his arm. Given where he was at, he said it was the appropriate time to come out of the game.

“This is something that just pops up and something you got to deal with. Listen to the trainers and do what they want to do with it. In the past i’ve always been able to make my next start and I definitely feel I’ll be able to make my next start.”

Phew!

Other tidbits

  • Max Muncy hit his 30th home run of the season. He’s now hit at least 30 homers in three of his four seasons with the Dodgers. Had it not been a shortened season in 2020, he very likely could have made it four straight seasons. He’s the ninth Dodger to have three seasons with at least 30 homers.
  • Austin Barnes had two hits, including hitting his sixth homer of the year

Wednesday particulars

WP: Phil Bickford (3-1) 13 IP, 0 H. 0 ER

LP: Chris Martin (2-4) 13 IP, 1 ER

SV: Joe Kelly (2) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER

HR: Max Muncy (30) Austin Barnes (6)

Box score

Up next

The Dodgers won’t play on Thursday, as they’ll have their first off-day in three weeks. They’ll travel to San Francisco, where they’ll face the Giants for the biggest series of the season this weekend.