Dodgers Collect 12 Singles, Find Way To Beat Braves 2-1

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Ted Lilly Leads Dodgers To Win Over Braves

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Andre Ethier's sacrifice fly off Atlanta reliever Jonny Venters in the seventh inning proved to be the difference, as Los Angeles clipped the Braves, 2-1, in the second portion of a four-game series at Turner Field.

Scott Podsednik collected three hits and scored the decisive run for the Dodgers, who avoided a fourth straight loss. Ted Lilly (6-8) scattered three hits and walked two over six scoreless innings to record his third win in as many starts with Los Angeles since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs.

Atlanta's Derek Lowe (11-10) labored through six innings and managed to limit the damage to just one run despite allowing 10 hits.

The NL East-leading Braves had a three-game win streak snapped and their lead over Philadelphia in the division standings trimmed to two games after the Phillies blanked the Mets on Saturday.

Consecutive one-out singles by Podsednik and Ryan Theriot placed runners on the corners for Ethier, whose fly ball to right plated the speedy Podsednik to put the Dodgers up, 2-0, in the seventh.

Kenley Jansen replaced Lilly in the bottom of the inning and issued a leadoff walk to Matt Diaz before Melky Cabrera stroked a one-out double. George Sherrill took over on the mound, and pinch-hitter David Ross knocked in a run with a groundout.

Octavio Dotel recorded the final out in the seventh for Los Angeles and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth. Hong-Chih Kuo, who was promoted to the closer's role in place of the struggling Jonathan Broxton, pitched a flawless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

The Dodgers failed to score despite placing two men on base in both the first and third innings. Los Angeles broke through in the fourth, getting a run on a double-play grounder by Matt Kemp.

Lowe pitched out of another jam in the fifth.

Lilly singled to begin the inning, just his second hit of the season, and Podsednik followed with a grounder up the middle that deflected off the glove of second baseman Omar Infante for a single. Lilly hustled to third on the play, forcing a throw that couldn't be corralled by Brooks Conrad. Podsednik took second on the error.

After Theriot struck out swinging, Lowe intentionally Ethier to load the bases, and the right-hander got out of trouble by getting James Loney, who singled his first two times up, to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones underwent surgery on Saturday to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The estimated recovery time for Jones is six months...Podsednik has now hit safely in 11 straight games.

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Tonight's Dodgers-Braves Lineups

Here are tonight’s lineups, courtesy of Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, and David O’Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:

Dodgers
Podsednik LF
Threiot 2B
Ethier RF
Loney 1B
Blake 3B
Kemp CF
Carroll SS
Ellis C
Lilly P

Braves
Infante 2B
Heyward RF
Gonzalez SS
Glaus 1B
McCann C
Diaz LF
Conrad 3B
Cabrera CF
Lowe P

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Dodgers Look For Bounceback Against Braves Homecooking

(Sports Network) - The owners of the best home record in baseball continue a wraparound series with a team that's had plenty of recent trouble winning on the road tonight at Atlanta's Turner Field, where the National League East- leading Braves shoot for a second straight win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Atlanta won the opener of this four-game series with a 1-0 nail-biter on Friday, which improved Bobby Cox's squad to 40-15 in its home park this season. That stellar record is the main reason why the Braves hold a three- game advantage over second-place Philadelphia in the NL East, as well as the second-best overall mark in the Senior Circuit at 67-48.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, have had their problems away from home all throughout this season and especially of late. Last night's defeat was Los Angeles' 12th in its last 14 games on the road and dropped the team to 23-33 as the visitor this season.

Los Angeles did receive an outstanding performance from starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on Friday, but Atlanta's Tim Hudson was just a bit better. The Braves ace limited the Dodgers to three hits and struck out six over eight scoreless innings to win his fifth consecutive start and up his season record to 14-5.

Billy Wagner took over for Hudson in the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Scott Podsednik, but got out of the inning unscathed to earn his 29th save.

Kuroda (8-11) worked the first seven innings and gave up just four hits, but one was a solo homer to Brooks Conrad in the bottom of the seventh inning that snapped the scoreless deadlock.

Conrad has taken over for longtime third baseman Chipper Jones, who will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in Tuesday's 4-2 win at Houston. Conrad also came up with a big hit in that game, a go-ahead two-run homer off Astros closer Matt Lindstrom in the ninth inning.

"Having (Jones) going down is terrible," said Conrad after Friday's triumph. "I feel really bad for him, but the bench is going to have to step up."

Ted Lilly will attempt to shake the Dodgers out of their lingering road slump, as well as maintain a perfect record in his short tenure with his new team, when he toes the rubber this evening. Acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the July 31 trade deadline, the gritty lefty has won both his starts in a Los Angeles uniform and been effective in doing so.

Lilly delivered an outstanding Dodgers debut on August 3, holding NL West leader San Diego to a run and two hits over seven sharp innings to deal the Padres a 2-1 setback. He was touched for a pair of homers and three runs overall in Sunday's six-inning stint against Washington, but struck out six without a walk and received plenty of support in an 8-3 verdict.

The 34-year-old sports a 2-1 record with a 4.26 ERA in five lifetime starts at Turner Field and is 3-2 with a 5.02 ERA over eight career matchups with Atlanta.

Trying to extend the Braves' streak will be Derek Lowe, with the former Dodger also taking the hill this evening seeking to string together back-to-back victories for the first time since a stretch of three straight winning starts from May 22-June 2.

Lowe has won just twice over his past nine outings, but was able to best San Francisco this past Sunday after allowing a pair of runs over 5 1/3 innings of work. The veteran righty was actually better in a no-decision against the New York Mets five days earlier, yielding just one run over six innings in that August 3 start.

The 37-year-old has had an up-and-down campaign that's reflected in his 11-9 record and 4.40 ERA, but he's usually been tough at home. In 12 starts at Turner Field thus far in 2010, Lowe has delivered an impressive 8-3 mark along with a 3.88 ERA.

Lowe, who won 54 games for the Dodgers between 2005-08 before joining the Braves as a free agent, is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four overall starts against his ex-team. He's yet to face Los Angeles this year, but did go 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two encounters with the Dodgers during the 2009 season.

These teams split a four-game series at Dodger Stadium from June 3-6. Los Angeles has now lost in six of its past eight visits to Turner Field, but did take two of three bouts from the Braves there last season.

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