video thumbnail

ATL@LAD: Rivera drills a two-run shot to left

LOS ANGELES -- Juan Rivera has a strained left hamstring, Aaron Harang a sore left foot and the Dodgers were left with their first home loss of the year Tuesday night.

Martin Prado's tiebreaking RBI triple with two outs in the ninth inning off closer Javy Guerra was the difference in a 4-3 win by the Braves, who also saw future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones celebrate his 40th birthday with a home run.

There was no celebration for the Dodgers. Rivera, who gave Harang a two-run lead with a first-inning home run (his first of the season), will have his left leg evaluated Wednesday to determine if he needs to go on the disabled list.

Harang said X-rays were negative on his landing foot after he fouled a pitch directly off the top of it during a third-inning at-bat. But he said as the game wore on, the swelling increased and his effectiveness decreased -- three Braves runs scored in the fifth and sixth innings.

"I was trying to make adjustments to compensate for my foot a little bit," said Harang, who retired 12 of 13 batters at one point. "It swelled up in my shoe. They cold-sprayed it. I had to make adjustments to even the pressure of landing on the foot and that might have had something to do with it. As the game progressed, it got more achy."

Guerra, a ninth-inning loser in two of his last four appearances, took his share of the blame for allowing the triple to Prado, who fell behind 0-2 and fouled off four pitches before the game-winner.

"I definitely didn't execute," Guerra said. "I didn't put him away. I got ahead but didn't finish him off."

Center fielder Matt Kemp took his share of the blame, too, as the ball flicked off his glove one stride before hitting the fence as he sprinted with his back to the plate.

"It should have been caught," Kemp said. "If it hits the glove, it's got to be caught. No excuses."

"[Kemp] can get anything he wants," Prado said. "I knew he was either going to make a great play or I would get a hit.  He made a great effort, but fortunately we got the win."

For Wednesday night's rubber game, the National Weather Service is calling for a 70 percent chance of rain. If Dodger Stadium has its first rainout in 12 years, the game likely would be made up Thursday, a day off for both clubs.

On the heels of Matt Guerrier's disabling elbow injury, the Dodgers' bullpen might welcome the rain.

Rivera gave Harang a first-inning lead with a two-run blast, only the 20th in 50 years of Dodger Stadium to land in the sliver of the Loge Level that is fair, estimated at 437 feet and scoring Mark Ellis ahead of him.

Atlanta got even in the fifth. Jones led off with his home run, followed by singles from Jason Heyward and Tyler Pastornicky. Atlanta starter Mike Minor bunted them to second and third, Michael Bourn walked to load the bases and Prado grounded out to second, scoring Heyward. Left fielder Jerry Hairston prevented further damage by running down Freddie Freeman's drive on the warning track to end the inning.

The Braves threatened again in the sixth with a leadoff single by Brian McCann followed by a Dan Uggla walk. With Jones coming up, manager Don Mattingly came to the mound and must have told Harang to get a double play, because that's what he did on a comebacker. McCann took third, only for Harang to wild pitch home the tiebreaking run on an 0-2 count.

When Harang got back to the Dodgers' dugout, he slammed his glove against the wall.

"I made a great pitch to Chipper for the double play, but then I tried to make too good of a pitch, a slider, and pulled it in the dirt," said Harang.

His teammates got him off the hook in the bottom of the sixth, but not without controversy.

Dee Gordon and Ellis singled. Kemp grounded into what should have been a double play, but Uggla's relay bounced off first baseman Freeman's glove as Gordon scored. Kemp made a quick move toward second, was tagged by Freeman and first-base umpire Alan Porter ruled Kemp safe. The Braves argued and the call was reversed after an umpire conference.

Rivera then singled off Minor but pulled up halfway to first base, jogged the rest of the way and was removed.

"We'll know a whole lot more tomorrow," said Mattingly. "Right now it sounds like it's the attachment really low, just above the knee. I don't know how to categorize it at this point. He could come in tomorrow bad or really good and it will be a couple days thing." Comments