Puig’s Slam, Greinke’s Shutout Leads Dodgers Past Braves
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rookie Yasiel Puig hit his first career grand slam, Zack Greinke pitched four-hit ball over seven innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Atlanta 5-0 on Thursday night, snapping the Braves’ five-game winning streak.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Dodgers loaded the bases in the eighth after Cory Gearrin gave up one-out singles to Skip Schumaker and Luis Cruz, and then walked pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez.
That set the stage for Puig, who had fans on their feet and clapping in expectation of more exploits from the 22-year-old Cuban defector. He was 5 for 8 with two homers and five RBIs in his first two games this week before going 0 for 4 on Wednesday.
Puig homered on the first pitch into the right field pavilion, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 5-0. He took his fourth curtain call of the week from the top of the dugout steps, raising both arms to acknowledge the cheers.
Typical of his hard-charging style, Puig was going so fast he nearly came up on Ramirez’s heels as they crossed home plate in succession. One of his teammates poured water on Puig’s head in celebration.
He really got soaked after the game, when Cruz dumped a container of water over his head during an on-field interview.
Puig had singled, struck out and grounded out to shortstop in his three previous at-bats.
Greinke (3-1) put his recent struggles behind him, striking out a season-high seven and walking three to earn his first victory since May 15 against Washington.
The right-hander had given up four runs and nine hits while walking three in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-6 loss in 10 innings at Colorado last weekend, one of four recent rough outings for Greinke.
Tim Hudson (4-5) dueled Greinke through seven innings, allowing one run and four hits. He struck out five and walked none in his first start against the Dodgers since 2011.
The NL East-leading Braves lost for the first time in June. They had won seven of nine and 15 of 19 coming into the opener of their seven-game West Coast trip.
Pena, hitting .321 coming in, was 1 for 4 with a strikeout. Freddie Freeman, who came in hitting .306, was 1 for 4 with two strikeouts for the Braves.
NOTES: The Dodgers’ last six homers have been hit by rookies Puig (3), Van Slyke (2), and Tim Federowicz (1). … The Dodgers selected RHP Chris Anderson of Jacksonville (Fla.) University with their first-round pick (18th overall) in the first-year player draft. The 20-year-old junior was 7-5 with a 2.49 ERA and three complete games in 14 starts this season. The team took LHP Tom Windle of Minnesota with the 56th overall selection in the second round. He was 6-4 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 starts as a junior. … Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis turned 36 on Thursday.