Final Score: Los Angeles 8, Atlanta 4
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Kemp hit a pair of two-run homers, including one that capped a three-run seventh inning, as the Los Angeles Dodgers earned an 8-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Yasiel Puig, who went 4-for-5 and was a home run shy of the cycle, scored twice. Carl Crawford drove in a pair, including the go-ahead one with a groundout in the seventh. Adrian Gonzalez ended 3-for-5 with two RBI and scored twice in the opener of this three-game series.
The Dodgers, who had 15 hits, including three from Kemp, posted their fourth straight win and moved three games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West.
Freddie Freeman belted a two-run homer for the Braves, who had a three-game winning streak broken.
"That lineup is swinging pretty good over there," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had opportunities. We swung the bats well. It was one of those games, they outhit us."
Both starters, Atlanta's Aaron Harang and LA's Josh Beckett allowed nine hits and four runs. Harang threw six innings to 4 1/3 for Beckett, who came into the game with a 23-inning scoreless stretch against the Braves. It was the first time he gave up runs to Atlanta since June 17, 2006 when he pitched for Boston.
"Josh got a little better as the game went along," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "This is what we envisioned offensively. Matt's two, two-run homers were huge. We had contributions from everyone."
Puig led off the seventh with an infield single against Anthony Varvaro (3-3). Gonzalez then singled to right field to place men at the corners, and one out later Crawford's grounder to second plated Puig for a 5-4 Dodgers lead. Kemp then delivered a home run to center field.
Kenley Jansen escaped a jam with two men on base in the eighth by retiring Justin Upton on a fly ball to right field.
Gonzalez doubled in Dee Gordon in the home eighth, and Jansen put two men on ninth before nailing down his 31st save.
The Braves scored in the first on Upton's sacrifice fly, but Kemp homered to right with Crawford aboard in the second.
"It was a good night for all of us," Kemp said. "We picked up our pitcher and got the job done."
Freeman went deep to right-center with Tommy La Stella on base in the third. Harang popped out to second to leave the bases full later in the frame.
A double by Andrelton Simmons to the gap in left-center plated Chris Johnson in the top of the fifth for a 4-2 Atlanta edge, but the Dodgers tied it in the bottom portion thanks to an RBI double from Gonzalez and a run-scoring base hit from Crawford.
Simmons grounded into a double play to kill a potential rally in the Atlanta seventh.
Brandon League (2-2) pitched one inning to get the win.
La Stella had three hits for Atlanta, which left 14 men on base after going 2- for-13 with runners in scoring position ... The Braves placed rookie right- handed relief pitcher Shae Simmons on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to a right shoulder strain. Right-hander Juan Jaime was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill the spot on the roster ... The Dodgers reinstated left-handed pitcher Scott Elbert from the 60-day disabled list and designated him for assignment ... During the game it was announced Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return to the booth for his 66th baseball season in 2015. Scully will call all nine innings of the Dodgers' television broadcasts on Time Warner Cable's SportsNet LA, with the first three innings of each of his contests also simulcast on the radio.
07/30 02:25:21 ET
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