Cody Bellinger homered and Kenta Maeda threw seven shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers held on to beat the Atlanta Braves, 3-2, for their ninth consecutive win on Tuesday night at SunTrust Park.
It was the Dodgers first visit to the brand new stadium, located north of Atlanta in area of Cumberland, and they christened their first visit with a win, their 40th in their last 46 games.
Bellinger belted his team-high 29th home run in the fourth inning as the Dodgers scored one run in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings respectively.
"He threw me a fastball down the middle with two strikes and I just tried to put a good swing on it," Bellinger told Alanna Rizzo of SportsNetLA after the game. "We obviously didn't have a whole lot of tape on him."
Bellinger was referring to Braves' rookie Lucas Sims (0-1) who took the loss in his MLB debut. The 23-year-old right-hander surrendered all three runs while scattering six hits with no walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
Yasiel Puig scored two of those runs for the Boys in Blue as the "Wild Horse," finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
Kenta Maeda (10-4) had his best start of the season, alowing just two hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven shutout innings.
Maeda became the 14th pitcher in the Major Leagues to reach double-digit wins on the season, and may have been motivated by the Dodgers acquisition of fellow countryman, Yu Darvish, at the trade deadline on Monday.
"Darvish is somebody I admire very much. He's one of the best pitchers in Japan and here," Maeda told the media through a translator of the acquisition of Darvish. "We have a lot of really good pitchers on this team, and I do feel the pressure to peform. When the news broke yesterday, he [Darvish] contacted me via message."
Darvish is seen as a legend in Japanese baseball with a 93-38 record to go with his 1.99 career ERA and 1,250 strikeouts.
Maeda's outing was made even more impressive against a Braves' lineup that scored 18 runs in two games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles two weeks ago.
The Braves split a four-game series with the best team in baseball, and were responsible for two of their three losses in the entire month of July.
The Braves clawed their way back into the game off reliever Josh Ravin when Johan Carmago hit a two-run home run off the right-handeder in the bottom of the eighth.
Tony Watson, another pitcher acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline on Monday, made his Los Angeles Dodgers debut with a scoreless inning of relief in Ravin's stead.
Watson was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates and is expected to play a major role against left-handed batters in the later innings of games down the stretch.
Watson was given his first test when he faced one of baseball's best left-handed hitters in Freddie Freeman with the tying run on third base.
Freeman hit a short pop up to third baseman Justin Turner to end the inning and give Watson his first hold in a Dodger uniform.
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out the side for his 28th save of the season.
In addition to their nine-game winning streak, the Dodgers have won six straight on the road and extended their MLB-record to 53 consecutive wins when taking a lead ay any point.
Rookie Brock Stewart takes the mound on Wednesday against Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran at 4:35PM PST.