Chris Taylor continued with his recent hot streak and Walker Buehler was dominant through much of his start to help lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in the start of a nine-game homestand.
Getting further removed from an abbreviated Spring Training has continued to do Buehler well, and on Monday he tied a season high with eight strikeouts and got through seven innings for the first time in 2019. He had at least one strikeout through each of the first four innings and held the Braves without a run entering the sixth.
That was broken up when Freddie Freeman launched a two-out, two-run home run to the batter’s eye in center field. While it got the Braves on the board, Freeman’s homer merely trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2.
Atlanta made more headway in the seventh inning on Nick Markakis’ solo home run.
After doing the bulk of their damage against the San Diego Padres in the late innings, the Dodgers jumped on Kevin Gausman and the Braves early. They manufactured a run in the bottom of the first, starting with Cody Bellinger reaching on a bunt single and advancing to second base on Gausman’s throwing error.
That was Bellinger’s lone hit in his return to the lineup after missing two straight games because of soreness related to his right shoulder popping in and out of place.
Justin Turner’s base hit put runners at the corners and Corey Seager’s slow chopper to third brought Bellinger home. Standing on third base because of a walk and Austin Barnes’ single, Alex Verdugo scooted home on a passed ball in the second inning.
Chris Taylor lined an RBI single into left field with the bases loaded in the third, and Verdugo’s sacrifice fly added to the lead. Taylor then put the Dodgers head 5-0 by going inside-out for an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Kenley Jansen was unavailable due to pitching on three straight days, which left Pedro Baez and Julio Urias to carry the baton over the final two innings. The save was Urias’ first of his career in 10 relief appearances.