LOS ANGELES -- Trailing by a run and limited to just two hits through eight innings, the Braves rallied for two runs in the ninth off Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, only to give up the tying run in the bottom of the inning before losing, 5-3, on Matt Kemp's two-run walk-off homer off Christhian Martinez in the 12th inning before 30,711 on Thursday afternoon.
Right-hander Jair Jurrjens, making his second start of the season after coming back from an oblique strain, struggled with his control in the first, loading the bases on a single and two walks before striking out James Loney to prevent any scoring.
Having thrown 36 pitches in the first inning, it looked like it might be a short afternoon for Jurrjens, but he settled down and kept the Dodgers off the board for the next four innings.
The game remained scoreless into the fifth, when rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman hit his third home run of the season to stake the Braves to a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers answered in the bottom of the sixth, when Juan Uribe hit a solo shot off Jurrjens to even the score.
Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead in seventh, when Casey Blake hit a solo home run off reliever Scott Linebrink to make it 2-1.
With two outs in the ninth and Atlanta seemingly headed for defeat, Chipper Jones singled to keep the Braves alive. Dan Uggla followed with a single and went to second on the throw, and Freeman walked to load the bases.
Kershaw got two quick strikes on David Ross, but the catchers singled to drive in two and put Atlanta back on top, 3-2.
"It was great to see our guys do that," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "In all this, you almost forget Kershaw's performance."
Craig Kimbrel came in to close out the game for the Braves, but he walked Jamey Carroll to lead off the inning and threw a wild pitch that put Carroll on second, putting him in position to score on Blake's two-out single to tie the game. Blake's single, like Kemp's game-winning homer, came on an 0-2 pitch.
"I tried to go with a fastball away, and it just wound up over the plate," Kimbrel said. "I didn't get the pitch where I wanted to, and he made me pay."
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the 12th. Martinez started the inning by getting Blake to ground out, but Andre Ethier then doubled, and Kemp followed with a home run to left field.
"You can't make mistakes 0-2, and we did today," Gonzalez said. "Anytime you do that late in the game, you're asking for trouble."
It was Kemp's second walk-off homerun of the week. His two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday lifted the Dodgers past the Cardinals, 2-1.
Glenn Rabney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.