ATLANTA (AP) — Manny Machado hit his first home run for Los Angeles, Rich Hill pitched seven dominant innings and the Dodgers routed the Atlanta Braves 8-2 on Thursday night.
Machado, acquired last week from Baltimore to add even more punch to a team that leads the National League in homers, went deep in his seventh game with the Dodgers. He lined a fastball into the left-field seats leading off the sixth against Anibal Sanchez, Machado’s 25th homer of the season overall.
Hill (4-4) limited the Braves to three hits and a walk while striking out seven, and he even picked up his first RBI of the season.
Atlanta managed only one scoring threat against the 38-year-old left-hander, which wasn’t even of Hill’s doing. With two outs in the sixth, Freddie Freeman reached when Machado’s wild throw from third got knocked out of Cody Bellinger’s glove as the first baseman tried to swipe Freeman with a tag. Nick Markakis walked on four pitches — the lone time Atlanta got a runner as far as second base against Hill — but Kurt Suzuki hit an inning-ending flyout.
While Sanchez (5-3) turned in another solid outing for the Braves, defensive blunders and a lack of offense ruined his night.
Shortstop Charlie Culberson’s throwing error in the fifth led to an unearned run. Another errant throw by second baseman Ozzie Albies in the seventh set up Hill’s run-scoring single, which finished off the Braves starter.
Sanchez went 6 1.3 innings and wound up being charged with four earned runs when the Dodgers blew open the game against Sam Freeman. Joc Pederson doubled into the right-field corner, and Yasmani Grandal’s two-out, two-run single stretched the lead to 6-0.
Culberson, getting a rare start at shortstop while Dansby Swanson took the night off, was charged with another throwing error in the eighth as the Dodgers tacked on two more runs. The Braves entered with just 48 errors in 98 games, fourth fewest in the NL.
Ronald Acuna Jr. provided Atlanta’s only burst of offense with a two-run homer off Daniel Hudson in the eighth.
Albies was back in the Atlanta lineup after missing four games with a sore right hamstring. The All-Star, one of just two players in the NL with 20 homers and 10 stolen bases, went 0 for 4 and was charged with an error when he made a horrible throw even though he had no chance of getting Alex Verdugo on an infield hit.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-5, 2.64 ERA) takes the mound in the second of four games at SunTrust Park. He is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in nine starts against Atlanta.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (7-6, 2.85) will be looking to get back on track after three straight rough outings. He has surrendered 21 hits, 14 earned runs and four homers in his last 18 1/3 innings.
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