5 takeaways from Braves’ series win over Dodgers

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) reacts after hitting an RBI double in the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) reacts after hitting an RBI double in the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Credit: Brynn Anderson

Credit: Brynn Anderson

After losing the first game of the series, the Braves rebounded to defeat the Dodgers in consecutive contests, capped with Sunday’s 4-2 win at Truist Park, to take the series. The Braves got the best of Cy Young-winning starters Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer in the process.

Here are five takeaways from Sunday:

1. The Braves did a good job generating offense against Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young winner who shut down the vaunted Braves’ offense during Game 1 of the wild card round last season while with the Reds.

Bauer surrendered a season-high six hits, including three doubles. Abraham Almonte’s RBI double opened the scoring in the second inning. Ozzie Albies doubled home a run in the next inning. Ender Inciarte had two RBIs, including an RBI single against Bauer in the sixth.

“Ender gets a couple big RBIs, Almonte got us going,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s a credit to those guys staying ready and the work they put in between opportunities.”

2. In two games against Kershaw and Bauer, the Braves’ offense produced eight runs on 14 hits in 12 innings. It’s an encouraging sign for the offense, which has had its share of successful moments but has struggled sustaining performance. Perhaps this is the weekend the tide turns, they’ll hope.

3 In a rematch of the aforementioned 2020 wild-card game, Max Fried outpitched Bauer, looking like his 2020 self in the process. He allowed one run on six hits, striking out four and not issuing a walk for the first time in nine starts.

“Max is a class act,” Inciarte said. “It’s so good to see him pitching the way he did today. We’re always pulling for him. Such a great guy to have in the clubhouse and such a great talent. We’re happy for him. … We have confidence that he’ll continue pitching the way he did today.”

3. Southpaw A.J. Minter came through in the seventh when he entered the game and inherited two Dodgers baserunners left by Fried. He retired Will Smith, Gavin Lux and Max Muncy on quiet flyouts to end the threat.

“That was huge,” Snitker said. “Momentum was kind of slipping away at that point and edging back in their court, and (Minter) gave it right back to us.”

The Braves’ bullpen was crucial in the team’s past two wins. It logged four scoreless innings in Saturday’s 6-4 victory. Minter, Chris Martin and Will Smith combined to allow one run – an Albert Pujols homer off Smith – across three innings.

4. Albies leads the Braves with 37 RBIs. He has an RBI in six consecutive games and has 19 RBIs in his past 13 contests. He’s hitting .373/.439/.725 with 11 extra-base hits over that span. His 19 doubles overall rank second in the National League.

5. The Braves have won their last two series against the Dodgers at Truist Park, dating back to 2019. The Braves go to Los Angeles to end August and will have the chance to win the season series against the Dodgers for the first time since 2013.

Stat to know

5.56 (The Braves have faced four Cy Young starters this season in the Yankees’ Corey Kluber, Washington’s Max Scherzer and the Dodgers’ Kershaw and Bauer. The group has a collective 5.56 ERA in those games, losing each to the Braves. All the runs the Braves scored Sunday were off Cy Young winners, as they added late insurance off Dodgers reliever David Price, a 2012 Cy Young winner.)

Quotable

“Other than the one inning (an eight-run fifth Friday night), we played a really good series this weekend against the world champions. … It should show those guys that we’re as good as anybody out there when we play the way we’re capable of playing.” – Snitker

La La Land

Appropriately, the Braves welcomed a handful of celebrities to Truist Park during their series against the Dodgers, including Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, Zachary Levi, Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas and Sarah Shahi.

Up next

The Braves are off Monday and begin a three-game series in Philadelphia on Tuesday. It will be the first half of an all-NL East road trip, which will finish in Miami.

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