National League Game Summary - Los Angeles at Atlanta|
(Thursday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Los Angeles 6, Atlanta 1
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Clayton Kershaw put forth a Cy Young-worthy
effort with a 12-strikeout performance, and behind an early offensive
outburst, the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to steal home field from the
Atlanta Braves with a 6-1 victory in Game 1 of this Division Series at Turner
The Dodgers plated five runs over their first four turns at the plate to
provide more than enough support for Kershaw (1-0), who cut down the Atlanta
hitters one after another in scattering just a run on three hits over a
dominant seven-inning stint.
The NL-West champions totaled 11 hits, with nine of them coming off Kris
Medlen (0-1). The Braves starter lasted just four-plus innings and was charged
with five runs -- including a two-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez in the third
inning that all but silenced the home crowd for the remainder of the evening.
Yasiel Puig had two hits, as did Mark Ellis and A.J. Ellis, who each scored a
run and finished with an RBI. Skip Schumaker contributed a sacrifice fly in
the first postseason win for LA manager Don Mattingly.
"It feels good, obviously to put a win on the board really in a series, try to
get that first game kind of under your belt as far as a team, not really
worrying about myself so much," said Mattingly. "But feel good about putting a
win on the board."
The Braves, coming off their first NL East title since their run of 14
straight ended in 2005, managed just five hits on the evening. They will look
to bounce back and even the series on Friday night in Game 2.
Once Gonzalez drilled a first-pitch offering from Medlen in the third over the
center-field wall to create a 4-0 cushion for LA, the contest seemed all but
decided -- and it was.
Kershaw, who gave up four runs in only three of his 33 starts this season, had
all the support he needed. He allowed an RBI single to Chris Johnson in the
fourth, but the Dodgers still had a four-run lead thanks to Mark Ellis' run-
scoring hit in the top of the frame.
The Cy Young favorite stranded runners at the corners by fanning Andrelton
Simmons to end the Braves' only scoring inning, and would finish his outing in
spectacular fashion by striking out nine of the last 11 batters he faced.
"It's up there," said Kershaw about where the outing ranked in his pitching
career. "It's probably-- it might be the best just because it's my first
postseason win. I haven't ever won a game. We got to win in one other game
that I pitched that I started in, but this one definitely has special meaning
to me for sure."
Medlen struck out the side in the first, but his outing began to trend in a
downward spiral after giving up runs in each of the three frames that
followed. His night was over without recording an out in the fifth.
Puig, whose hustle and attitude gave the Dodgers new life and turned their
early struggles around upon his June call up, vaulted his team to the lead in
the second. He bounced a single up the middle, broke for third on Juan Uribe's
sharp liner into short center, then trotted in on Schumaker's sac fly.
Uribe moved up to second when Jason Heyward tried to get Puig at the plate,
then scored easily when a charging Evan Gattis in left allowed a bloop from
A.J. Ellis to roll underneath his glove and to the wall for an RBI double and
2-0 LA lead.
Medlen's outing concluded with runners on first and second and no one out in
the fifth. While the Dodgers would leave the bases loaded in the frame, they
struck an inning later when Hanley Ramirez capped the scoring with a double
into the gap in right-center field for a 6-1 advantage.
"It's not over yet," said Simmons. "I mean that's the thing we've got to look
forward to. We've got to leave this game behind and focus on the next one."
The Dodgers have won seven consecutive Division Series games dating back to
2008 ... Ramirez, making his first postseason appearance in nine seasons,
ended 1-for-5 ... The Braves have lost seven straight playoff series, their
last victory coming in 2001 ... Former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper
Jones threw out the ceremonial first pitch ... The two teams last met in the
postseason during the Division Series in 1996.
10/04 01:00:26 ET