Braves Country had reason to be excited heading into Monday night's game against the Dodgers. Jason Heyward was finally moved up to the second spot in the lineup, Chipper Jones was back in the lineup, and our ace, Tim Hudson, was on the mound.
Instead, the Braves were shutdown by Ted Lilly and the Dodgers bullpen and the team struggled to even make contact with the ball for most of the night. Lilly threw seven innings and allowed just four hits and two walks, and he struck out six Atlanta hitters. Matt Guerrier shut the Braves down in the eighth inning and Jonathan Broxton closed out the game for Los Angeles.
Tim Hudson, for the second game in a row, struggled with his command in the early going and his team paid the price for it. Matt Kemp drove in the first run of the game with one out single in the first inning and James Loney followed up with a two run line drive up the middle to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Rookie outfielder Jerry Sands also came through in the third inning with a sacrifice fly to score Juan Uribe from third base to give LA a 4-0 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Jairo Asencio, who was called up Saturday to replace Peter Moylan, worked two scoreless innings once Tim Hudson exited after the sixth inning. He allowed four hits and struck out two Dodgers.
The Braves did battle back in the 9th inning against Jonathan Broxton to at least make things interesting. Brian McCann singled and Dan Uggla doubled to start the inning, and Freddie Freeman drove in the first run of the game with a groundout to the shortstop. Alex Gonzalez then struck out for the second out of the inning. Nate McLouth ripped a double into right field to score Uggla and bring the tying run up to the plate, but Eric Hinkse struck out on three pitches.
Braves lose 4-2.
Ted Lilly - W, 7IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 6K
Take your pick. Lots of options tonight.
Brandon Beachy and Hiroki Kuroda will face off tomorrow night as the Braves attempt to tie up the series. First pitch is at 10:10EST.