The Braves have scored two runs or less in 13 of their 24 games since the All-Star break. The offense seems talented but has proven to be inept and incapable of doing its part in helping the Braves win games. Once again on Tuesday night the offense was putrid managing only two runs as the Braves lost to the Dodgers 4-2.
The Dodgers took an early lead in the second inning thanks to a rally that started with Minor hitting Justin Turner with a pitch. With one out Juan Uribe singled to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Minor got a second out by striking out A.J. Ellis but a Darwin Barney bloop single in front of Jason Heyward put the Dodgers on the board. It was 1-0 after two innings.
The Braves offense managed to overcome the one run deficit in the 3rd inning. Tommy La Stella singled and scored when Justin Upton dumped a double in front of Yasiel Puig. Puig took an awful route to the ball starting the wrong way and then failing to catch the ball when he dove. Puig's misplay allowed La Stella to score and the game was tied 1-1.
In the bottom of the 4th the Braves took a brief lead when BJ Upton crushed a low and inside off-speed pitch for a massive solo homer. The lead was short lived though as the Dodgers took the lead for good their next time up. The Dodgers got things started with a one out single by their pitcher Dan Haren. The Braves allowing hits to pitchers has felt like an epidemic of late and it is a great way to allow a big inning. Carl Crawford promptly followed Haren's hit with a double to put two runners in scoring position. The Dodgers tied the game on a Puig groundout and took the lead when a Matt Kemp popup bounced off the glove of a retreating La Stella. Once again La Stella was unable to come down with a popup he got his glove on but that he could have reasonably been called off on by Heyward. The misplay put the Braves down 3-2 and that would put the game well out of reach for the Braves offense.
Mike Minor actually had one of his best games in a while. He was pecked to death for three runs by way of weak hits and defensive errors. Minor kept the ball in the park and gave the Braves a chance to win. Minor went 6.2 innings and struck out seven with one walk and no homers. He still left a few too many fat pitches over the heart of the plate but considering how his season has gone this game counts as massive progress.
The Dodgers actually put up a rubbing it in insurance run in the top of the 9th. Darwin Barney came home to score on a wild pitch that Gattis failed to block. There have been a lot of positives to Gattis' season but his defense when it comes to blocking pitches in the dirt has been terrible all year. The run put the Dodgers up 4-2 and the Braves failed to make any noise in the bottom of the 9th. The Braves lost 4-2 and hopes of contending for the NL East seem all but gone.