The Los Angeles Dodgers vie for their third consecutive win on Saturday night when they visit the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers, who defeated the Braves in the 2020 National League Championship Series, posted a 9-5 victory in the opener of the three-game series on Friday. Los Angeles plated eight runs in the fifth inning on just three hits en route to recording its 16th win in 22 games.
Atlanta, conversely, has dropped five of its last seven games.
Aside from the playoffs, the two teams did not meet during the 2020 regular season. Atlanta is trying to win a season series against the Dodgers for the first time since 2013.
On Friday night, the Braves had a 1-0 lead going into the fifth inning with Ian Anderson not allowing a hit. A one-out walk and a double opened the floodgates for Anderson, who was charged with four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“Those three-ball counts add up over the course of time,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of Anderson, who tossed 98 pitches. “He left with one hit … he was pretty good and he pretty much just ran out of pitches. If he had a normal amount of pitches, he could have kept going. Twenty fewer pitches and it’s his inning to put down.”
Los Angeles will start left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-4, 3.33 ERA), who took the loss in his previous start against the Giants.
In that game, Kershaw gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings in the Dodgers’ 5-4 setback. San Francisco scored three runs in the first inning and added a solo run in the fourth and fifth, respectively.
“It wasn’t great,” Kershaw said after the loss. “Obviously, when you start the game like that in the first inning and you give up three runs, it’s tough to come back. I put the team in a tough spot today in the first and wasn’t able to make up for it.”
Kershaw has found plenty of success against the Braves over his career. He is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 11 regular-season outings.
Kershaw did lose his last start against Atlanta in Game 4 of the 2020 NLCS, giving up four runs on seven hits in five innings of an eventual 10-2 loss.
Atlanta will counter with right-hander Charlie Morton (4-2, 4.26), who owns a 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two career starts versus the Dodgers. He has yielded 11 runs on 16 hits.
Morton won his second straight start overall on Monday after allowing three runs on six hits in five innings of a 5-3 victory over the Washington Nationals.
The Dodgers may be without first baseman Max Muncy, who left Friday’s game with right ankle soreness after trying to beat out a double play in the fourth inning. Matt Beaty replaced Muncy in the game on Friday.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said that Muncy is day-to-day and will be evaluated on Saturday.
–Field Level Media