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Braves piece together victory in Game 2 to even series
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ninety-seven pitches into his postseason debut, Mike Minor walked off the mound with a runner on second base and his team clinging to a one-run lead.
The Atlanta Braves needed a stopper to tie the National League Division Series and the left-hander gave them all he had.
The bullpen scratched together the rest.
Minor gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings Friday night and the Braves held on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 in Game 2, knotting the series at one game apiece.
Jason Heyward's two-run single in the seventh gave Atlanta the insurance runs it needed for its first postseason win in three years.
Hanley Ramirez's two-run homer in the eighth got the Dodgers within a run, but Craig Kimbrel came on for a four-out save.
Kimbrel walked two in the ninth, but Gerald Laird threw out pinch-runner Dee Gordon on a close play and Kimbrel struck out Carl Crawford with a runner on first to end the game.
Game 3 is Sunday in Los Angeles with Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran going against Dodgers rookie left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Dodgers pitchers had 15 strikeouts in a 6-1 win in Game 1 on Thursday night, including 12 by ace Clayton Kershaw. The Braves faced another tough test in Zack Greinke, but Minor (1-0) looked like his equal.
He gave up eight hits, including an RBI double to Ramirez in the first inning, struck out five and walked one. He threw 66 of his 97 pitches for strikes.
Greinke (0-1) allowed four hits in six innings, including an RBI double to Andrelton Simmons and a run-scoring single to Chris Johnson. He struck out three.
Luis Ayala relieved Minor in the seventh and missed the bag while covering first base on a ground ball on what should have been a routine out, putting runners at the corners.
But Luis Avilan got the Braves out of the jam with a defensive gem, snaring a sharp grounder on the mound to start an inning-ending double play.
Heyward then delivered a two-run single off Paco Rodriguez in the bottom of the seventh to give the NL East champions their insurance runs.
In the eighth, David Carpenter walked Mark Ellis and Ramirez hit a breaking ball just inside the left-field pole with no outs. Carpenter struck out two before giving way to Kimbrel for the last out.
A.J. Ellis drew the first walk in the ninth for Los Angeles. Gordon broke for second but couldn't slide under Simmons' tag -- the shortstop swiped at his legs. Andre Ethier also drew a walk off Kimbrel.
Earlier, Mark Ellis drew a one-out walk in the first inning and Ramirez drove him in with a double to the right field corner to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Evan Gattis scored Atlanta's first run in the second after leading off with a single, moving up on a ground out and scoring on Simmons' double over the head of Yasiel Puig in right field with two outs.
Freddie Freeman doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on Johnson's single through the left side to give Atlanta its first lead of the series.
Minor struck out Juan Uribe on a 3-2 breaking ball to get out of the sixth inning after Ramirez doubled and Puig singled to put runners at second and third for the NL West-champion Dodgers.
The Braves got a win for the first time in Minor's last six starts. They were 0-5 with him on the mound in September ... Minor was 1-0 against the Dodgers in two regular season starts, holding them to a .205 average in 12 innings ... Greinke was 7-1 with a 1.58 ERA in his last 12 regular season starts since July 30. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs since July 25.
10/04 22:15:18 ET