Braves 3, Dodgers 2: Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup with two RBIs and Craig Kimbrel escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth as host Atlanta won for just the third time in its past 14 games.
Ervin Santana (12-6) allowed two runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts in six innings, winning his fifth straight decision and keeping the Braves five games behind first-place Washington in the National League East and 2 ½ games out of the final NL wild-card spot. Simmons, who missed five games with a sprained left ankle, drove in Atlanta’s first two runs as the Braves rallied from a 2-0 deficit, and Kimbrel earned his 35th save by getting a game-ending double play from Matt Kemp.
Los Angeles starter Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6) lost for the first time in six starts, striking out seven while giving up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings before leaving with a right gluteus muscle strain. Carl Crawford finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI, and Kemp extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double.
Crawford singled home Kemp in the second and scored later in the inning on Miguel Rojas’ single as the Dodgers jumped to a 2-0 lead. But the Braves – who had scored 31 runs in their previous 13 games, pecked away as Simmons’ groundout scored Evan Gattis in the second to make it 2-1.
Simmons tied the game in the fourth, driving home Justin Upton on a single to right, and the Braves edged ahead in the fifth when Jason Heyward singled with one out and later scored on Upton’s single to right-center. David Carpenter and Jordan Walden each fired a scoreless inning of relief, and Kimbrel – after two hits and a walk – got Kemp to hit into a 4-6-3 twin-killing to end it.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Ryu bent over on the mound after walking B.J. Upton with two outs in the sixth, and slowly limped off the field holding the back of his right thigh. … Los Angeles 3B Juan Uribe initially was ruled safe on a chopper to second in the eighth, but video review showed Atlanta 2B Phil Gosselin’s throw just beat Uribe to the bag. … Crawford, who collected three hits in each of the first two games of the series, is 10-for-16 in his past four contests.