ATLANTA (AP) — Nick Markakis shrugged and insisted ending his long home run drought was no big deal.
Markakis hit his first homer of 2015 and scored the go-ahead run on Juan Uribe’s fifth-inning single, leading the Atlanta Braves past former teammate Brandon Beachy and the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 on Monday night.
Markakis hit a two-run drive to center field off Beachy in the first inning. It was his first homer since Sept. 25, 2014, for the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
“I was just trying to get on base with a hit, no matter how it came, no matter whether it was a single, double, triple or home run,” Markakis said.
Markakis also doubled and walked. He is hitting .289 with a team-leading 22 doubles.
“You know what? I don’t care if he has one home run, no home runs or 30 home runs, he gives you great at-bats,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He’s a good hitter for us.”
Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run shot and Howie Kendrick doubled in two runs for the Dodgers in the fifth.
Beachy, making his second start for the Dodgers following his second Tommy John surgery, allowed four runs and five hits in four innings. Beachy said he was “very frustrated” by his three walks, including one to Braves pitcher Matt Wisler to load the bases in the fourth and set up Jace Peterson’s two-run double.
“Obviously, that’s unacceptable,” Beachy said.
Asked if he can stick with Beachy, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said: “It’s one of those things that we’ll continue to talk about and discuss.”
Wisler (4-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Peterson drove in three runs with two hits for Atlanta.
Jim Johnson earned his seventh save, but his streak of 18 consecutive scoreless outings ended when he allowed a ninth-inning run.
Austin Barnes, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City when catcher A.J. Ellis was placed on the disabled list, had a leadoff single for his second hit. Yasmani Grandal, who left Sunday’s game at Washington after taking a ball off his mask, added a pinch-hit single, and Joc Pederson singled to load the bases.
Barnes scored when Kendrick hit into a double play, and Adrian Gonzalez grounded out to end the game.
Markakis, who has hit cleanup in a team-leading 33 games, ended his drought of 356 at-bats without a homer. He picked the most difficult area of the park, clearing the 400-foot mark in center.
The Braves took the lead against Adam Liberatore (2-2) in the fifth. Markakis doubled and scored on Uribe’s single past shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Atlanta acquired Uribe from the Dodgers in a six-player trade on May 27.
Adrian Gonzalez singled in the eighth and moved to second on Justin Turner’s third hit, a single off Andrew McKirahan. Pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke singled off Arodys Vizcaino, but left fielder Eury Perez threw out Adrian Gonzalez at the plate.
HONOR FOR SUTTON
Broadcaster Don Sutton was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame at a luncheon. Sutton, who won 324 games with the Dodgers, Astros, Brewers and Angels, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.
Dodgers: An MRI showed no structural damage in Ellis’ right knee. Ellis was put on the 15-day DL with inflammation in the knee. Mattingly said Ellis began having discomfort on the flight to Atlanta. … OF Carl Crawford, out since April 28 with a right oblique strain, joined the team and likely will be activated Tuesday.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman (right wrist) was upbeat after playing catch and hitting off a tee before the game. He could begin a rehab stint as soon as Tuesday. … McKirahan gave up two hits without getting an out in the eighth after he was reinstated from his 80-game suspension following a positive test for the banned substance Ipamorelin. RHP Ryan Kelly was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson, who is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his last six starts, faces the Braves on Tuesday night.
Braves: LHP Alex Wood (6-6) is 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four career games, including two starts, against the Dodgers.
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