Dodgers win NLDS-opener in Atlanta
ATLANTA, Georgia (USA) -
Los Angeles Dodgers opened the best-of-five National League Division Series against Atlanta Braves on Thursday-evening, October 3, with an 6-1 victory.
Earlier in the day, St. Louis Cardinals won its NLDS-opener vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-1.
The Dodgers struck early in Atlanta and led 5-0 in the fourth inning after scoring twice in the second and third at bat and adding a run in the fourth.
The Braves got one run back in the home of the fourth, but the Dodgers then scored another run in the sixth.
In the second inning, Cuban Yasiel Puig and Dominican Juan Uribe singled with one out for the Dodgers.
They then respectively scored the first runs on a sacrifice fly by Skip Schumaker and a double by A.J. Ellis.
In the third inning, Los Angeles doubled its lead.
Carl Crawford led off with a single, then Adrian Gonzalez homered with two outs to make it 4-0.
The lead was increased to 5-0 in the fourth at bat when Ellis doubled again (with one out) and scored on a 2-out single by Mark Ellis.
Atlanta then got a run back in the home of the fourth.
With one out, Freddie Freeman singled and Evan Gattis walked.
After a flyout, Freeman scored on a single by Chris Johnson, but Gattis stranded on third base when next batter Andrelton Simmons struckout.
The Dodgers added a run in the sixth inning off of new pitcher Jordan Walden, the third Atlanta-pitcher in the game.
With one out, Mark Ellis singled, then scored on a following double by Hanley Ramirez.
Dodger-starter Clayton Kershaw dominated.
The lefthander held the Braves to only three hits in seven innings, while striking out 12 batters.
In the eighth inning, Brian Wilson took over and gave up Atlanta's fourth basehit.
Wilson, nicknamed 'The Beard', pitched seven seasons for San Francisco Giants.
Last year, he appeared in only two games for the Giants, as he injured is elbow in the first week of the season.
He underwent his second Tommy John-surgery and opted not to sign with any team before the 2013 season because he wanted to be 100% recovered.
After being granted Free Agency in November, he completed his recovery through the middle of this year, then signed a contract with the Dodgers on July 30.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Wilson was relieved by closer Kenley Jansen.
The Dutch pitcher walked lead-off hitter Evan Gattis, but then struckout next batters Brian McCann and Chris Johnson.
Jansen then faced fellow-countryman Andrelton Simmons, both are from the island of Curaçao, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Simmons won the confrontation, as he singled to leftfield, which brought Gattis to third base.
Moments later, Simmons took second base on a fielder's choice without a throw.
But with runners on second and third base, Jansen struckout Elliot Johnson to finish the game and seal the win.
Los Angeles outhit Atlanta, 11-5.
Game 2 will be played on Friday.