ATLANTA -- Dee Gordon never doubted he had doubled, even as Braves center fielder Michael Bourn was running to keep the ball from reaching the gap.
"Sometimes you've got to push the envelope, but I don't even think I pushed the envelope right there," Gordon said. "I knew it was a double when I hit it."Gordon scored the go-ahead run on Juan Rivera's sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their season-best sixth straight game with a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
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The speedy Gordon, who entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth, doubled off rookie Anthony Varvaro (0-1) to begin the 10th and advanced to third on James Loney's sacrifice bunt.Dodgers closer Javy Guerra, the fifth Los Angeles relief pitcher, retired Bourn, Martin Prado and Brian McCann in order to earn his 15th save in 16 chances.Since returning Thursday from a right shoulder contusion that sidelined him for 18 games, Gordon is 6 for 11 with five runs scored and two RBIs. He stole two bases Friday against the Braves and gave them fits again in the eighth as a pinch runner, reaching second on a sacrifice bunt and advancing to third on a passed ball.Though Rivera and Russ Mitchell struck out to keep him from scoring in the eighth, Gordon was too much for the Braves to contain in the 10th. He knew second base was his when the ball left his bat."I'm going, I'm going," Gordon said. "I've got to make our job as easy as possible."Atlanta, which began the night with an 8 1/2-game lead in the NL wild-card standings, has lost two straight and dropped to 27-19 since the All-Star break.The Braves, who fell to 14-9 in extra-inning games, missed a chance to win it in the ninth.With two out, Jose Constanza beat out an infield single against Hong-Chih Kuo. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly brought in Mike MacDougal (2-1), who allowed a single to Alex Gonzalez before striking out pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad."I came in and gave up a first-pitch single and was lucky to get the next guy on a first-pitch slider," MacDougal said. "There wasn't much to it. We're doing pretty good. We've been pitching well."Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the second on A.J. Ellis' second homer.Atlanta tied it in the second when Dan Uggla hit his 32nd homer.Neither rookie starter factored in the decision.Atlanta's Mike Minor allowed one run and six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. The left-hander had won three straight decisions.Nate Eovaldi gave up one run, three hits, six hits, five walks and struck out five. The right-hander, who was coming off a loss last Sunday to Colorado but was 3-1 in his first four starts, is moving to the bullpen to save wear and tear on his young arm."I'm not sure exactly what they're going to do with me as far as how many days or if I'll be up (in the bullpen) every night," Eovaldi said. "It's different, knowing you're not going to go that fifth day, but I'll get used to it."Atlanta relievers Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and closer Craig Kimbrel combined to allow two hits and two walks with five strikeouts in the seventh, eighth and ninth. The Braves dropped to 20-2 when the trio pitch in the same game.Scott Elbert got the first out of the seventh for Los Angeles. Kenley Jansen allowed one hit and struck out four over the next 1 2/3 innings.The Dodgers missed a chance to score in the fourth when Rivera led off with a walk and Russell Mitchell singled. But Tony Gwynn Jr., the next batter, didn't try to sacrifice the runners over and struck out, and Minor escaped the jam when Ellis struck out in a double play that ended on Rivera's misguided steal attempt.Atlanta failed to capitalize in the fourth after McCann and Uggla walked on eight straight balls, but Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman flew out and Jason Heyward struck out.Loney went 2 for 3 and is hitting .463 in a span of 54 at-bats over his last 13 games, but cleanup hitter Rivera, who entered with a .412 average in 51 career at-bats against Atlanta, struck out in his first three times up before driving in the deciding run.Uggla, who has hit safely in 50 of his last 57 games, credited Los Angeles' bullpen with beating the Atlanta hitters consistently."We had a few chances here and there, but still, whenever you're in those kinds of situations and you're facing guys with that kind of stuff, they can get nastier than they already are," Uggla said. "But us as hitters, we have to bear down that much more and make adjustments the best we can. We didn't have that timely hitting tonight."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said RHP Peter Moylan will be activated from the disabled list on Sunday. Moylan has missed 123 games with a lower back strain. ... Gonzalez had no report before the game on RHPs Jair Jurrjens (knee) and Tommy Hanson (shoulder). Jurrjens, whose spot in the rotation will be taken Sunday by rookie Randall Delgado, is in Colorado to see an orthopedist. Hanson played catch Friday and has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14. ... It was a tough night for Gwynn, who struck out in his first two at-bats and grounded into a double play to end the fifth. ... Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw, who starts Sunday, needs one strikeout to reach 212 and set a season career high.
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ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 3: Mike Minor #36 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against Justin Sellers #12 of the Los Angeles...