LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates with on deck hitter Chipper Jones #10 as he scores the tying run in the ninth inning past catcher A.J. Ellis #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 25, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Braves won 4-2. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The first trip out west for the Braves turned out to be a very profitable one, winning five of seven games and taking two out of three from the first-place Dodgers in their own ballpark. Chipper Jones had himself a memorable birthday (as he usually does), hitting his third home run of the season and the fifth of his career on his birthday. He's also only the fifth player in history to hit a homer on his 40th birthday (Tony Phillips, Wade Boggs, Joe Morgan, Bob Thurman). In addition, he had the winning hit in Atlanta's ninth-inning rally Wednesday. With his performance, Chipper finished his career on his birthday hitting .429.
The Braves suffered a 7-2 loss Monday by getting singled to death. 14 of the 15 hits allowed were singles, but it was Jair Jurrjens who took the brunt of the punishment and following the game, was sent down to Gwinnett. It was the third of his four starts this season where he was pulled before completing five innings and the first where he didn't strike out a batter. Here's to hoping he figures out what's ailing him so he can regain his effectiveness.
Michael Bourn had a streak broken in Wednesday's win: he had reached base in the first inning in five straight games prior. Bourn was 2-for-12 in the series with a pair of walks and he's gone five games without a stolen base. The hitless game on Wednesday also snapped a seven-game hitting streak. He went the entire series without scoring a run: the first time that's happened this year.
David Ross proved once again that the Braves have the best backup catcher in the game today. In his only start in the series on Monday, he homered in the second inning and threw out two runners trying to steal. In limited playing time, Ross is hitting .455.
Tyler Pastornicky made his first start of the series Tuesday after sitting for three games and went 3-for-3, sparking a ninth inning rally and scoring the winning run on Martin Prado's game-winning triple. He added another hit Wednesday to raise his average to .234.
The bullpen was dominant as usual. The team of "O'Ventbrel" struck out nine hitters in 4.2 innings. Not to be overlooked was Livan Hernandez, who picked up Jair Jurrjens with 4.1 innings of relief, allowing two runs on six hits.
Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy both turned in impressive performances. Minor limited the Dodgers to three runs in six innings while Beachy kept them to two runs in his 6.1 innings. They couldn't contain Matt Kemp, though, as he was 4-for-9 in the series. Although Kemp hit his 10th home run of the season, it was his only one of the series and his only RBI. His average dropped to an abysmal .449.
The Braves are off on Thursday, but head home to battle the Pirates this weekend.