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.