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Braves bullpen implodes as Atlanta gets swept by Dodgers

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The division lead sits at two

MLB: AUG 31 Braves at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Braves bullpen was given a 3-2 lead late following some home run heroics from Eddie Rosario and Dansby Swanson, but Chris Martin was unable to protect the lead in the eighth as Atlanta lost once again, 4-3.

With the Braves clinging to a one run lead, Trea Turner led off the 8th with a double. Max Muncy grounded out and Mookie Betts struck out to bring the team one out away from the ninth. Brian Snitker elected to pull Tyler Matzek for Chris Martin, and the Dodgers promptly went single, walk, single, and it was 4-3.

The Dodgers stormed out to an early 2-0 lead behind solo homers from Max Muncy (who is contractually obligated to homer every night against Atlanta) and Austin Barnes. That was all the early offense they would muster, though, as Max Fried settled in nicely during the middle innings.

The Braves’ bats were quiet most of the evening, but a huge two-run shot from newcomer Eddie Rosario in the seventh tied the score at 2-2. Dansby Swanson followed in the eighth with a solo homer to give Atlanta the 3-2 lead.

Fried pitched brilliantly against a potent Los Angeles lineup, allowing just two solo homers across six innings. He struck out nine despite a tight home plate strike zone all night. Fried owns a 1.76 ERA over his last nine starts.

Max Scherzer was equally impressive over six innings. He was surprisingly pulled from the game after just 76 pitches; the broadcast suggested Scherzer may have not felt 100% tonight and removed himself from the game early.

Home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez was horrible all night.

The Phillies were rained out on Thursday so the division lead sits at 2 games.

The Braves will head to Coors Field next for a four-game tilt with the Rockies this weekend. Colorado has been one of the best teams in the league at home with a 43-22 record (they are 18-50 on the road). Touki Touissant will return to the mound on Thursday evening and be opposed by Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-6, 6.08 ERA). First pitch is set for 8:40 p.m. ET.