Wisler rocked, Braves swept by Dodgers

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Matt Wisler gave up a career-high 8 runs in 4 innings of a 12-6 Braves loss at Dodger Stadium Sunday. (Video by David O'Brien)

The Braves have had a few stinkers like this against the Dodgers in recent years, but Matt Wisler had never given up as many runs in his brief major-league career as he did Sunday, much less doing it after having a lead.

Staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Wisler was rocked for nine hits, eight runs and three homers in four innings of a 12-6 loss that gave the Dodgers a sweep of the three-game series and continued their recent domination of the Braves.

Atlanta has lost 17 of 23 games against the Dodgers going back to the 2013 division series, and the Braves have dropped 10 of 11 games at Dodger Stadium in that span. The Braves have been outscored 112-70 and out-homered 29-7 in those 23 games against the Dodgers.

“We can’t get it together where we get our offense going where we get one of those (well-pitched) games,” said interim manager Brian Snitker, whose Braves trailed 12-3 after seven innings on their way to a fifth loss in six games and 10th loss in 14 games. “It’s kind of what we’re up against it seems like every day, just battling through it.

“You’ve got to handle it in order for it to get better at the other end.”

Brandon Snyder hit a ninth-inning homer in his third game with the Braves, the sixth homer of his career and first since he was with the Red Sox in 2013 in what had been his most recent major league stint until last week. But Sunday was mostly about the Dodgers unloading on Braves pitchers, particularly young Wisler (2-6).

“Pretty bad effort by me today and it cost the team today pretty bad,” said Wisler, who threw 101 pitches (59 strikes) in just four innings, with three walks and five strikeouts. “I got behind in the count a lot. Got the first two outs pretty quick, then after that I fell behind and they really made me pay for it today.”

Dodgers rookie Corey Seager had two home runs for his third career multi-homer game and second in the series, after a three-homer outburst in Friday’s series opener. His five homers in the series are two more than any Brave has all season except Freddie Freeman.

The current Braves team didn’t figure to end any trends against the Dodgers, considering Atlanta ranks last in the majors in almost every major offensive statistic and is off to the franchise’s worst start (16-40) in more than a century. Now they start start a three-game series Monday at San Diego, where the Braves have lost 10 in a row.

Wisler was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and failed to protect it for even a half-inning.

“Command and aggression wasn’t there, I didn’t feel, and he was just missing his mark,” Snitker said of Wisler, who matched his career high for hits allowed, surpassed his previous high of seven runs allowed, and gave up more than two homers for just the second time in 30 career starts.

“He had to battle through that thing. He’s been pitching pretty good,” Snitker said. “Things didn’t go his way and he probably learned a lot today, that you’ve got to go out there with maybe not the best stuff and figure out how to survive. That’s why we just kept running him back out there. And we needed to cover innings, too.”

Wisler had allowed seven runs three times, most recently on Sept. 3 at Washington, when he lasted 1 2/3 innings. In 17 games (15 starts) since then, before Sunday, he had posted an impressive 2.83 ERA and .211 opponents’ average, including a 2-3 record and 2.51 ERA in six May starts.

But June did not begin well at all for the young right-hander.

The Braves took a first-inning lead on four hits against left-hander Scott Kazmir, including two-out RBI hits from Jeff Francoeur (double) and Nick Markakis, who had three hits. Francoeur had two doubles and a walk and has hit .421 (16-for-38) with six doubles and a homer in his past 13 games.

Wisler gave the lead back in the bottom of the first when he allowed four consecutive two-out hits, and Kike Hernandez’s leadoff homer in the second inning put the Dodgers ahead, 3-2. Yasmani Grandal capped a four-run third inning with a three-run homer that pushed the lead to 7-2, and Seager added a leadoff homer in the fourth off Wisler.

The Hernandez and Grandal homers off Wisler came on 3-1 fastballs at 92 and 93 mph. Seager homered on a first-pitch curveball and added a two-run, two-out homer in the seventh off Alexi Ogando.

Wisler had five strikeouts and three walks while laboring through 59 strikes in 101 pitches over four innings.

“He’s the type of guy that can struggle a little bit and still be effective,” Markakis said. “You’ve got to learn, and there’s no better way to learn than to be in live situations like that. They did a good job leaving him out there and letting him fight through it and learn from it.”