Chris Withrow was charged with two earned runs in the seventh inning, giving the Braves a 4-1 lead. The Los Angeles Dodgers lost NLDS Game 2 4-3 to Atlanta
After scoring six runs with the support of Clayton Kershaw the night before, the Dodger bats were shut down by the Braves in a 4-3 loss Friday in Atlanta.
Zack Greinke had a strong start, but it was not enough to give the Dodgers the win in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers struck first in the opening frame, getting Mark Ellis on base with a walk. Hanley Ramirez doubled down the right field line to score Ellis for the first run of the game.
In the next two innings, the Dodgers got lead-off hits and it looked like they might pile on runs in the same way they did on Thursday. Atlanta starter Mike Minor thought otherwise and erased those lead-off singles with double-play balls.
Those double plays seemed to take away the momentum the Dodgers had built in Game 1, and in the first inning of Friday's game.
The Braves tied it up in the second inning after Greinke gave up a single to Evan Gattis. He then got Brian McCann to ground out, and struck out Chris Johnson. But Andrelton Simmons smacked a double that landed just out of Yasiel Puig's reach in right field.
Freddie Freeman led off the fourth inning with a double. It looked like Greinke would be able to get out of inning after he induced ground outs from Gattis and McCann, but Chris Johnson softly singled into the hole between shortstop and third to score Freeman for the go-ahead run.
Greinke finished with six innings pitched, four hits, two earned runs and three strikeouts. He was removed in the seventh inning for a pinch hitter.
This was Greinke's first playoff start since 2011, when he struggled in three starts for the Brewers, with 12 runs allowed in 16 innings pitched. He had a strong outing, but with just one run of support he exited the game as the losing pitcher.
The Dodgers had a great chance to tie it up in the seventh inning after Skip Schumaker led off with an infield single and A.J. Ellis bunted him over to second. The Braves removed starter Mike Minor, forcing the Dodgers to score against the best bullpen in the National League.
Michael Young came in to pinch hit for Zack Greinke and reached on an infield single as Luis Ayala missed first base with his foot by inches. Carl Crawford came to the plate with runners on the corners and one out, but grounded straight back to pitcher Luis Avilan for an easy double play ball.
It was the Dodgers third double play of the game, and it really appeared to take the wind out of their sails.
The Braves extended their lead in the seventh. Chris Withrow walked the first batter of the inning: Brian McCann.
He then gave up a single to Chris Johnson and a sacrifice bunt to Simmons to put runners on second and third with one out. Withrow struck out Elliot Johnson and Paco Rodriguez came in to get the final out.
With first base open, the Dodgers opted to intentionally walk pinch hitter Reed Johnson to face Jason Heyward.
Yes, they walked the right-handed Johnson so Rodriguez could face a lefty, but this is Jason Heyward we are talking about!
He promptly banged a single up the middle for two runs, giving the Braves a 4-1.
The Dodgers were not done fighting though. Well, at least not Hanley Ramirez.
With Mark Ellis on first, Ramirez banged his third extra-base hit of the game for a two-run homer that just barely made it into the stands near the left-field foul pole. Ramirez finished the game 3-4 with all three Dodger RBIs.
In the ninth, A.J. Ellis walked with one out and was taken out for pinch runner, Dee Gordon. Gordon attempted to steal second base, and replay may show he was safe, but he was called out for the second out of the inning.
It was a tense finish, but the Dodgers lost by a final score of 4-3.
The series moves to Los Angeles and will resume on Sunday for Game 3.
With the series tied 1-1, the Dodgers need to win both games at home to avoid returning to Atlanta for a potential Game 5 scenario.