Recap: Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel Trade Blown Saves In Dodgers Win Over Braves In Extra Innings

Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel traded blown saves that the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to withstand in a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in 11 innings. The Dodgers not only took the rubber match at Truist Park, but also picked up their first win in six extra-inning games this season.

The Dodgers had 12 hits on Sunday and earned a series win despite going 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and leaving 12 on base.

They had an opportunity to cut into a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning, when Freddie Freeman singled and Will Smith doubled. Freeman was caught in a rundown on a grounder but remained alive long enough so that Max Muncy could reach second base. Smith and Muncy were stranded by Justin Turner.

Singles by Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor put the tying runs on base with two outs in the ninth inning. Taylor then capitalized on Jansen’s struggles with holding runners by stealing second base.

That proved key when Trayce Thompson’s soft liner skipped off Matt Olson’s glove and carried into shallow right field for a game-tying, two-run single.

Freeman led off the 10th inning with an RBI double down the right field line that gave the Dodgers their first lead of the night. Freeman went 4-for-12 with three walks and six strikeouts in his first series in Atlanta as a visiting player.

After the Braves tied the game, the Dodgers responded in the 11th with an RBI double from Chris Taylor that went off Austin Riley’s glove, and Trea Turner extended his hitting streak with a two-out RBI single.

Dodgers bullpen struggling

While Freeman was in position to play hero for his new teammates, the Dodgers’ bullpen stumbled at multiple points throughout the night. The group remains under scrutiny and results are magnified without key contributors available and Daniel Hudson being lost to a torn ACL.

Tony Gonsolin became the ERA leader among qualified pitchers but exited a start for the first time this season with the Dodgers trailing.

Gonsolin wasn’t dominant for a second consecutive outing but again successfully pitched through traffic before falling behind in the count eventually caught up to him. Gonsolin stranded baserunners in the third, fourth and fifth innings to do his part in keeping the game scoreless.

He nearly managed to do the same after Travis d’Arnaud led off the bottom of the sixth with a double, but surrendered a two-out RBI base hit to Marcell Ozuna. Prior to that, Gonsolin had held opponents to 0-for-their-last 34 with runners in scoring position.

Gonsolin attempted to convince Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to remain in the dugout, but he proceeded with bringing the hook at a season-high 94 pitches. Yency Almonte hit a batter and issued a walk to load the bases before Max Muncy and Freddie Freeman combined to bail him out.

The book closed on Gonsolin at one earned run allowed on five hits, with one walk and five strikeouts over 5.2 innings.

Alex Vesia failed to make it through the seventh inning and left the bases loaded for Phil Bickford, who minimized the damage to just one run.

Kimbrel gave up a leadoff RBI single to Olson that tied the game in the bottom of the 10th and further stressed a depleted Dodgers bullpen. Brusdar Graterol got the save in the 11th inning during his third appearance in as many nights.

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