ATLANTA (AP) — Knowing the Braves are sometimes vulnerable to off-speed pitches, Mike Bolsinger was pleased that his curveball and slider caused problems all afternoon.
It got so frustrating for Atlanta that some of the Braves were yelling from their dugout that the right-hander for the Los Angeles Dodgers wasn’t bold enough to use his fastball.
“I guess I was throwing too many curveballs,” Bolsinger said with a grin. “But I mean if you’re showing me you’re not hitting the pitch, why would I go to something else?”
Bolsinger pitched seven strong innings and the Dodgers scored three runs in the fifth inning to beat Atlanta 3-1 on Wednesday.
Having used their bullpen for 9 1-3 innings in first two games of the series, the NL West-leading Dodgers were hoping Bolsinger would pitch past the sixth for the first time in his last eight starts.
“It got us to the back end,” Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. “He got us to seven, which was nice. You get to use the guys you want to use.”
Alberto Callaspo, Jimmy Rollins and Joc Pederson each drove in a run for Los Angeles, which avoided its first three-game losing streak since June 15-17 against Texas.
Bolsinger (5-3) retired 14 straight batters before walking A.J. Pierzynski with two outs in the seventh. He allowed three hits and a run with a walk with four strikeouts.
“He just changes speeds and makes it tough on a hitter,” Pierzynski said. “Changes motion, changes the tempo of his motion. He’d pause. He wouldn’t pause. He was just trying to mess up your timing. He was good today.”
Kenley Jansen pitched around a leadoff walk to Cameron Maybin in the ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances, getting strikeouts of Kelly Johnson and pinch-hitter Juan Uribe to end the game.
The Braves, despite having won 10 of 15 at Turner Field, have dropped eight of 11 overall.
Julio Teheran (6-5) struck out seven of the first 10 batters and had the Dodgers off balance through the fourth before struggling with his command in the fifth.
With Teheran elevating his pitches, Yasmani Grandal led off with a double that right fielder Nick Markakis appeared to misjudge. Grandal came home from third on a single by Callaspo, who scored the go-ahead run on a double from Rollins. Pederson’s single made it 3-1.
Teheran dropped to 0-4 with a 6.07 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers. The right-hander lost at Turner Field for the first time in 10 home starts this season despite matching a career high with 11 strikeouts. He allowed six hits, three runs and three walks in seven innings.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the third on Maybin’s RBI groundout.
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Teheran picked off Grandal at second base to end the second after Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez successfully challenged to have the play overturned. Second-base umpire John Hirschbeck initially ruled that Grandal beat shortstop Andrelton Simmons’ tag. The review lasted just 56 seconds.
Dodgers: Mattingly doesn’t anticipate that RHP Brett Anderson will need to go on the disabled list after irritating his left Achilles tendon and leaving Tuesday’s 4-3 loss in the third inning. Mattingly said it’s too early to tell if Anderson will make his next scheduled start Sunday at the Mets, but an MRI showed no damage.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman, on the disabled list with a right wrist contusion, has arrived at the team’s spring training facility in Florida to continue taking live batting practice. Freeman has missed 29 games with the injury. Gonzalez said Freeman might be ready to return during the four-game series that begins July 30 at Philadelphia.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-6), last year’s NL MVP and a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets, the opponent in Thursday’s opener of a four-game series in New York.
Braves: LHP Manny Banuelos (1-0) will make his third career start when Atlanta visits St. Louis on Friday.
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