Braves quotes after loss to Rich Hill, Dodgers

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NL East standings through Thursday 1. Phillies: 58-44 2. Braves: 54-45, 2 1/2 games behind 3. Nationals: 51-51, 7 games behind 4. Mets: 43-57, 14 games behind 5. Marlins: 44-60, 15 games behind

The Braves had no answer for Rich Hill, stumbling into an 8-2 loss to the Dodgers at SunTrust Park on Thursday.

Ronald Acuna’s eight-inning homer was the only offense. The defense committed three errors for the second-straight game. The bullpen let the game slip away.

All are issues plaguing the present Braves. The team’s surprising start has leveled off into .500 territory over the past two months.

Here’s what the Braves said after their latest loss:

Manager Brian Snitker:

On Hill:

“Just his breaking ball. Curveball, Curveball. He was good. It was hard to get ahold of.”

On defensive miscues:

“Yeah it was (out of character). We’re a good defensive team. Just a tough game. Against a good club, you can’t make mistakes. It’s a good club. You can’t give them extra outs.”

On struggling reliever Sam Freeman:

“Hopefully he can right the ship. I’ve seen him do it. He’s having a rough go right now. He’s just got to fight his way through it.”

Shortstop Charlie Culberson:

On his play at shortstop:

“I felt OK. Just rushed a throw, tried to make something happen with that double play. For one I didn’t think I came off the bag. I don’t know why we didn’t challenge it. I just didn’t play a good game. That was a bad game on my part.”

On Hill:

“I played with him and knew what he had. He has a good curveball. His fastball kind of jumps on you a little bit. But tip your cap to Rich. He threw the ball well and missed our bats. That high-spin curve, he gets a lot of break on it, deceptive. We knew it was coming. He just made some good pitches and he beat us tonight, plain and simple.”

Starter Anibal Sanchez:

On his night:

“I definitely felt really good. Early in the game, we had a quicker game between Hill and I. … But at the end, that’s part of the game. I’m going to give credit to Hill. He threw a really good game against us.”

On defense’s bad night:

“Baseball’s like that. Those guys have played well all year long. We play for two more months, we’re racing for the playoffs and I think we can do it.”