Preview: Dodgers Look To Avoid First Series Loss Since Early June
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

For as hot as the Los Angeles Dodgers have been over the past month, the Atlanta Braves have proven to be a kryptonite of sorts. Los Angeles is 20-3 since July 4, with each of their losses coming to Atlanta.

Wednesday’s game snapped the Dodgers’ nine-game winning streak and MLB record of 53 consecutive wins in games they’ve held a lead. Alex Wood takes the mound as they look to bounce back and avoid their first series loss since dropping two of three to the Washington Nationals from June 5-7.

Wood faces the Braves, his former team, a second time in the last 13 days. Wood struggled the first time out, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on nine hits in just 4.2 innings. He surrendered two home runs, including a grand slam to opposing starter Jaime Garcia.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts felt Wood, who pitches with plenty of intensity as is, was overly emotional in facing former teammates, thus leading to his worst start and first loss of the season.

On the year, Wood is 12-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 18 games (16 starts). Wood is coming off a start in which he allowed four runs on eight hits to the San Fransisco Giants over seven innings. He cruised early before some well-placed balls led to a three-run seventh.

Just like the Braves with Wood, the Dodgers get another look at Sean Newcomb. He went six innings at Dodger Stadium on July 23, allowed three runs on three hits, issued five walks and struck out nine without factoring into the decision of a Braves loss.

The rookie left-hander is 1-5 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in nine starts. He’s 0-4 with a 5.33 ERA in five starts at SunTrust Park. Newcomb has allowed at least one home run in three of his last five starts.

Chris Taylor returns to the leadoff spot after hitting third on Wednesday. He’s just 1-for-13 with one run scored, one double, one RBI and four strikeouts in the last three games.

Nick Markakis enters play one hit away from 2,000 in his career. Markakis would become the 10th active player and fourth outfielder to reach the milestone. Freddie Freeman, who went 2-for-3 with a game-tying RBI single in the Braves’ win, is again batting third.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
2B: Logan Forsythe
C: Austin Barnes
CF: Kiké Hernandez
RF: Yasiel Puig
P: Alex Wood

Braves lineup:

CF: Ender Inciarte
3B: Brandon Phillips
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Tyler Flowers
RF: Nick Markakis
SS: Johan Camargo
LF: Sean Rodriguez
2B: Ozzie Albies
P: Sean Newcomb