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Dodgers beat Braves, pass Giants for first place in NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer winds up to deliver against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer winds up to deliver against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Max Scherzer allowed just three hits in six shutout innings to dominate Atlanta Braves batters and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers into first place in the National League West for the first time since April 25.

Scherzer struck out nine and did not issue walk in the 4-3 victory Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. First baseman Max Muncy and catcher Austin Barnes each homered in the win.

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"It's a start," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters. "We are getting there. We just have to continue to play good baseball. There is a lot of baseball left.

"I just like the way our guys are so resilient and pick each other up."

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The Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Wednesday in San Francisco to extend the Giants' four-game losing streak.

The Dodgers, winners of three straight, now lead the Giants by a half-game for first place in their division.

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Muncy started the scoring Wednesday with a 379-foot solo homer to left in the Dodgers' second at-bat of the night. Barnes then led off the bottom of the third with a 474-foot shot off Braves starter Max Fried for a 2-0 edge.

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Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario tied the score with a 390-foot, two-run homer off Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol in the top of the seventh. Shortstop Dansby Swanson gave the Braves a one-run lead with a 405-foot solo blast to center in the second at-bat of the eighth.

The Dodgers responded in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Trea Turner hit a leadoff double to left field to spark the rally. Third baseman Justin Turner drove in Turner with an RBI single three at-bats later.

Dodgers left fielder A.J. Pollock plated the final run with another RBI single in the same inning.

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Relief pitcher Joe Kelly entered the game in the top of the ninth. He retired the Braves in order to earn his second save of the season.

Fried allowed three hits and two runs over six innings, but was not on record for a decision. Barnes and Muncy each recorded two hits for the Dodgers.

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Rosario went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored for the Braves.

The first-place Dodgers (84-49) battle the rival Giants at 9:45 p.m. EDT Friday at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The Braves (70-62) face the Colorado Rockies at 8:40 p.m. EDT Thursday at Coors Field in Denver.

"We know this is going to be a big series," Scherzer said of the Giants. "We are all looking forward to it. Obviously they are a great team and we want to go out and play our best against them.

"These are the moments you live for."

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