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Dodgers open homestand against Atlanta

July 29, 2014 at 9:58 AM   |   Comments

The Los Angeles Dodgers are back home for the next eight games and will try to stay atop the NL West standings Tuesday when they kick off a three-game series versus the Atlanta Braves.

The division-leading Dodgers are two games ahead of the struggling San Francisco Giants in the standings and went 5-4 on their recent road trip, which ended with a sweep of the aforementioned NL West rivals.

"We're going to see these guys again. They're not going anywhere," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

The Giants lost their fifth straight game Monday versus Pittsburgh.

Los Angeles completed the trifecta with Sunday night's 4-3 win and went ahead to stay with a three-run fifth inning. Dee Gordon scored when Giants catcher Buster Posey dropped the ball on an Adrian Gonzalez strikeout and Yasiel Puig, who walked and advanced to second on the miscue, hustled home on a Hanley Ramirez base hit.

Carl Crawford immediately followed with a triple for a 4-2 Los Angeles lead. San Francisco got a run back on Posey's homer in the fifth to complete the scoring. Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed three runs in six innings for the win and three relievers pitched a scoreless inning. Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his 30th save.

The Dodgers have won seven of 11 games overall and will also host the Chicago Cubs and LA Angels on this upcoming stay. They just made a trade with the Cubs, acquiring infielder Darwin Barney and cash considerations for a player to be named or cash. Barney will provide infield depth.

Josh Beckett gets the start for the Dodgers and is 6-5 with a 2.52 earned run average. Beckett pitched just 3 2/3 innings in last Tuesday's 12-7 loss at Pittsburgh and was touched for four runs and six hits. Beckett pitched five scoreless innings in his previous start at Colorado and hasn't pitched at Dodger Stadium since a 10-3 loss to Cleveland on July 1.

Beckett, a right-hander, is just 1-4 in 10 home starts this season and 8-7 with a 2.07 ERA in 17 career starts against the Braves.

The Braves are on the west coast for the next eight games and will visit San Diego and Seattle as well. They just went 6-5 on a lengthy homestand and won the last three games of a four-game set with the Padres at Turner Field.

Atlanta won the series with Monday afternoon's 2-0 victory, as Evan Gattis opened the scoring with a leadoff homer in the seventh inning and added an RBI single in the eighth. Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana was sharp through eight innings, allowing five hits and striking out 11 batters.

"Those two carried us today," Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson said about Santana and Gattis.

Craig Kimbrel shut the door in the ninth by fanning the side for his 32nd save of the season. Kimbrel is tied for the major league lead in saves.

Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward is listed as day-to-day after leaving the game with lower back soreness.

The Braves are just a half-game behind Washington for the NL East lead.

Aaron Harang shoots for his 10th win of the season when he takes the ball for the Braves Tuesday. Harang has posted back-to-back no-decisions after winning four straight starts and allowed two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 loss to Miami last Thursday.

Harang, who pushed his record to 9-6 and lowered his ERA to 3.31, has been the subject of durability this season, lasting six innings or more in six straight and 18 overall starts (21 total) this season.

The right-hander is 5-3 in nine road outings, but has a 4-6 mark in 11 career starts against the Dodgers.

Atlanta won five of seven meetings with Los Angeles last season.

[SportsNetwork.com]

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