Major Leagues: Braves 4, Dodgers 3
ATLANTA ó Martin Prado needed eight pitches to get a read on Blake Hawksworth.
When Prado saw a changeup to his liking, he hit it hard.
ěI was just going to put the ball in play,î he said. ěI was thinking any pitch I can drive, hit it solid. I saw it, I hit it.î
Prado singled in the winning run in the ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves snapped the Los Angeles Dodgersí six-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory on Sunday.
The Braves avoided getting swept in a three-game series for the first time this season and gave themselves a good send-off for an eight-game road trip that begins Monday against NL East-leading Philadelphia.
ěIt was big for us not to go into Philly having lost three straight,î third baseman Chipper Jones said. ěOne of the biggest wins of the year, Iíll tell you.î
Jose Costanza set up the win with a one-out single off Hawksworth (2-5). Costanza moved to second on a wild pitch and scored easily when Pradoís liner landed inside the left-field line.
Craig Kimbrel (4-2) retired the side in order in the top half to get the victory.
The Braves, who began the day with a 71/2-game lead in the NL wild-card standings, put just one runner in scoring position through the first six innings against Clayton Kershaw.
But third baseman Aaron Milesí one-out throwing error in the seventh proved costly for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers had a 3-0 lead when Alex Gonzalez singled and moved to third on Jack Wilsonís single. Miles fielded Costanzaís hard grounder cleanly, but his wide throw allowed Gonzalez to score and ruined a potential double play.
Wilson and Costanza moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Brooks Conradís broken-bat single, tying it at 3.
Kershaw, who was attempting to tie Arizonaís Ian Kennedy for the NL lead with his 18th victory, allowed three runs, two earned, and 10 hits in seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked none.
Kershaw threw 84 of 115 pitches for strikes in his first career start at Turner Field. The left-hander was 4-0 with a sparkling 0.58 ERA in his previous four outings.
ěI definitely felt like I had good stuff, some of the better stuff Iíve had all year,î Kershaw said. ěI had command of all three pitches. In the seventh, I left some (pitches) up. Wilson was a hanger and with Gonzalez I got behind in the count.î
Matt Kemp went deep for the Dodgers, hitting a three-run drive with two out in the third for his 32nd homer.
Randall Delgado, the third rookie starting pitcher used by Atlanta in the series, gave up three runs and four hits in five innings.
The Dodgers put runners on first and second with no outs in the seventh, but Cristhian Martinez struck out James Loney and Kemp and got Juan Rivera to fly out to end the threat.
NOTES: Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson, on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, will try some long toss Monday in Philadelphia. Atlanta has no timetable for his return
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