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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 14 (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Dodgers (69-53) at Atlanta Braves (61-59), 12:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Roberto Hernandez (6-8, 3.83) Atlanta - Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.31)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves look to come away with a split of a four-game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers when the two clubs close out their set Thursday afternoon at Turner Field.

After losing the first two games of this series by scores of 6-2 and 4-2, the Braves returned the favor with Wednesday's 3-2 win. The victory didn't come easy, as Braves closer Craig Kimbrel needed to work out of a ninth-inning jam to record his 35th save.

Kimbrel walked Andre Ethier to start the inning and the speedy Dee Gordon reached on an infield single. Kimbrel got Dodgers star outfielder Yasiel Puig swinging for the first out and Adrian Gonzalez singled to load the bases for Matt Kemp, who grounded into a game-ending double play.

"(Kimbrel) doesn't get rattled," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of his closer. "Maybe that's maturity being in those situations."

Ervin Santana posted his 12th win (12-6) and allowed two runs with nine strikeouts across six innings.

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup and drove in two runs. He hadn't played since Aug. 5 because of an ankle injury. Justin Upton knocked in the other run for the Braves, who won for only the third time in the last 14 tries and remained five games behind Washington for the NL East lead. The Nationals defeated the New York Mets Wednesday night.

The Braves are 3-3 on a 10-game homestand and will host Oakland next for three games. The homestand comes on the heels of an 0-8 road trip.

Atlanta is 9-16 since the All-Star break and will send Aaron Harang to the mound Thursday in hopes of earning a split with Los Angeles. Harang made 31 starts for the Dodgers in 2012 and went 10-10 with a 3.61 earned run average. He has recorded five straight no-decisions -- all Atlanta losses -- and threw seven innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 loss to Washington on Saturday.

Harang is 9-6 with a 3.31 ERA and hasn't won 10 games in a season since his lone stint with the Dodgers. The veteran right-hander, who won four straight starts from June 24-July 10, is 4-3 in 13 home outings and 4-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 12 career starts against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers will try again for a series win Thursday in the finale of their nine-game road trip (5-3). They still have the best record in the National League at 69-53 and almost pulled off the comeback last night.

Carl Crawford went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Gordon and A.J. Ellis posted two hits apiece. Miguel Rojas knocked in a run for the Dodgers, whose lead atop the NL West standings was trimmed to five games over San Francisco after the Giants defeated the Chicago White Sox Wednesday.

"We ran into a great starting pitcher," Ellis said of Santana.

Puig walked and struck out four times, but Crawford continued his torrid pace at the plate. Crawford is batting .433 with five runs and 13 hits in his last nine games (7 starts). Kemp, meanwhile, has hit safely in his last nine games and in 11 of the past 12 since Aug. 2.

Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was aiming for his 14th win of the season, but fell to 13-6 after he surrendered all three runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings. Ryu struck out seven and walked two, and left the game with a right leg strain. He is day-to-day.

"There's a little concern because it's a new area that's never bothered me before," Ryu said through an interpreter. "So right now, the only thing I want to do is sleep through and see how I feel tomorrow morning."

The Dodgers will return home after today's game to start a nine-game stay versus Milwaukee, San Diego and New York (Mets) at Chavez Ravine.

Taking the mound for LA Thursday will be Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez was recently acquired in a trade with Philadelphia because Josh Beckett was hampered by a hip issue and made his Dodgers debut in a 9-3 loss to the Brewers last Friday. He pitched well in the no-decision, charged with two runs and three hits in six innings.

Hernandez struck out five and walked none. He is 6-8 overall this season with a 3.83 earned run average and will make his fifth career start against the Braves. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.81 ERA in the first four starts.

Los Angeles swept a three-game series with the Braves in late July and has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two ballclubs.

08/14 10:20:35 ET

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
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CHA 106
PHO 111
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NCSU 83
TENN 72
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CAR
TOR
 
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UCONN
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CLE 98
ATL 127
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PHO 111
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DET 106
DAL 117
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BOS 109
ORL 92
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MIA 87
UTA 105
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TOR 105
BRK 89
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SAN 116
MEM 117
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POR 104
MIL 97
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DEN 111
HOU 115
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LAC 102
IND 100
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MSST 55
ARKST 69
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GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
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WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
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HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
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JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
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HAMP 55
 
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BST 52
JMU 72
 
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YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
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UMO 71
LONG 60
 
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PITT 65
MAN 56
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NCAT 55
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FSU 93
UNF 77
 
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TOL 83
RMU 57
 
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CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
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RFLSH 67
 
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NCSU 83
TENN 72
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UCF 75
DET 70
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UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
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MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
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HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
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NW 67
CMICH 80
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WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
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ODU 58
UGST 54
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SMU 67
ILLCH 46
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MLGN 76
 
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TULSA 74
MIZST 70
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UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
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NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
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TTU 101
SCST 39
 
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DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
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STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
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TXPA 69
 
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MEM 83
USCU 73
 
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ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
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MSU 66
EMICH 46
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GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
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STAN 67
LMU 58
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BAY 66
NMST 55
 
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CIN 71
SDST 62
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AUB 80
WINT 62
 
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NMU 76
CARK 55
 
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PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
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CPSL 60
NE 58
 
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UNLV 75
PORT 73
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OREG 79
CSNO 56
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WASH 86
GRAM 38
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CAN
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LATU
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NJD 0
OTT 2
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MIN 2
BOS 3
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VAN 0
DAL 2
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CLB
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LOS
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