Heyward Returns, Upton Slams Braves Past Dodgers

Justin Upton admires his monstrous grand slam while Freddie Freeman anticipates hugs. - USA TODAY Sports

The Braves went back and forth with the Dodgers all night before Justin Upton's grand slam put Atlanta up for good.

It was a seesaw game for most of the night at Turner Field, as Atlanta and Los Angeles traded the lead four times. The Braves ultimately came out on top, mostly thanks to Justin Upton's monstrous grand slam as well as an excellent first game back from Jason Heyward. Paul Maholm didn't pitch particularly well, but was the beneficiary of Atlanta's eight-run outburst on the way to his fifth win of year.

The Dodgers scored first in the second inning, taking advantage of a leadoff double by A.J. Ellis. Ellis moved to third on Luis Cruz's infield single, and scored a few minutes later on Dee Gordon's RBI groundout to make it 1-0.

Atlanta came right back to take the lead in the third, however. Andrelton Simmons led off with a double, then moved to third on Jason Heyward's line-drive double into the left field corner. Justin Upton scored Simmons with a ground out, and Freddie Freeman then plated Heyward with a single to center that dropped in front of Matt Kemp. The Braves then loaded the bases with two outs and threatened to score even more, but B.J. Upton popped out on a 1-0 count to end the threat.

Atlanta's lead was short-lived, as the Dodgers scored two in the fourth to go back on top. After Dan Uggla committed an error on a routine double-play ball, the Dodgers got back-to-back RBI singles from Hyun-Jin Ryu (yes, the pitcher) and Carl Crawford to take a 3-2 lead. They stretched the lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning, when Scott Van Slyke homered on the first pitch he saw from Paul Maholm.

The Braves managed 5 walks off of Ryu tonight, but were unable to cash in on any of them. Luckily, all those walks helped push Ryu's pitch count up and he was pulled after 5 innings - the shortest outing of his young MLB career. That got the Braves into the Dodgers' bullpen, where they feasted.

In the bottom of the sixth, B.J. Upton struck out to lead off the inning, Jordan Schafer then singled, and Andrelton Simmons reached on an error by Carl Crawford. Jason Heyward then drew a walk on a full count, bringing Justin Upton to the plate. Upton fouled off one pitch and took a ball before getting a fastball in the middle of the plate from Dodgers' reliever Paco Rodriguez; Upton didn't miss. Justin hit Rodriguez's pitch as far as I've seen a ball fly out to left field at The Ted, and just like that it was 6-4.

Atlanta added two more in the seventh inning, when Andrelton Simmons reached on another error by Crawford, scoring Ramiro Pena. Heyward then chipped in with an RBI single to make it 8-4.

Scott Van Slyke hit another home run in the eighth inning to account for all the scoring in this one.

Craig Kimbrel shut down the Dodgers in the ninth for his 12th save of the year.

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