Playing in front of the largest crowd in SunTrust Park history, the Atlanta Braves outslugged the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 4-3 win to set the stage for a rubber match on Sunday. The victory was the Braves’ first in five head-to-head meetings with the Dodgers this season.
Atlanta snapped their skid by getting to Hyun-Jin Ryu early and tacking on insurance late. Ryu managed to strand a leadoff double in the second inning but failed to replicate that success in the third. Mike Foltynewicz’s sacrifice bunt advanced Adeiny Hechavarría, and after a walk by Ronald Acuńa Jr., Ozzie Albies pulled a two-run double into left field.
Foltynewicz similarly managed to navigate his way through traffic before it ultimately caught up to him. Acuńa bailed out Foltynewicz by making a tremendous diving catch to rob Corey Seager of a hit with the bases loaded and end the third inning.
But there was nothing Acuńa or any other Braves fielder could do on Matt Beaty’s line-drive home run cut that the Dodgers’ deficit in half in the fourth inning. His two-out RBI single then tied the game in the fifth.
It remained that way until Ryu surrendered back-to-back home runs to Josh Donaldson and Adam Duvall with one out in the sixth inning. That snapped a stretch of 44.2 innings without allowing a home run.
Ryu retired Charlie Culberson on a swinging bunt for the second out but saw his night come to an end at 101 pitches. His 5.2 innings of work represented Ryu’s shortest start since only going four innings against the Colorado Rockies on June 28.
Meanwhile, the four runs were his most since allowing seven in that same outing at Coors Field nearly two months ago.
Just like the series opener, the Dodgers made progress against a beleaguered Braves bullpen. Their comeback effort began with Max Muncy’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning that cut L.A.’s deficit in half.
That also helped the Dodgers tie the 1977 Boston Red Sox for most home runs (24) in a six-game span. They set the MLB record with 22 home runs over five games.
Although the Dodgers failed to complete a comeback, their bullpen again managed to answer the call. Joe Kelly, Adam Kolarek and Pedro Baez combined for 2.1 scoreless innings to prevent the Braves from creating more separation.