Series: Game 3 of 3

Atlanta won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, August 1
LA Dodgers0Final
Game 2: Saturday, August 2
LA Dodgers4Final
Game 3: Sunday, August 3
LA Dodgers8Final

Dodgers 8

(55-55, 26-30 away)

Braves 4

(73-38, 40-17 home)

    1:05 PM ET, August 3, 2003

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 400012100 8 10 1
    ATL 300000100 4 8 2

    W: G. Mota (3-2)

    L: R. Ortiz (15-5)

    Los Angeles gets back to .500 for the year

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Robin Ventura chugged around the bases for the first inside-the-park homer of his career and the Los Angeles Dodgers handed Russ Ortiz his first loss since June 13, beating the Atlanta Braves 8-4 Sunday.

    Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer as Los Angeles snapped a five-game losing streak. The Dodgers pushed their record back to .500 on an unusual day at Turner Field.

    Los Angeles was at a clear disadvantage in the pitching matchup: Ortiz, who had won eight straight starts, vs. Scott Mullen, a journeyman left-hander called up from the minors to make his first major league start.

    But the Dodgers scored four unearned runs in the first off Ortiz (15-5), and their bullpen held the high-scoring Braves to only one run over the final six innings after Mullen struggled with his control.

    Ventura, acquired from the New York Yankees on Thursday, picked up his first homer for the Dodgers in the seventh -- just not in the way anyone would have expected.

    On a drive to the left-center gap, Darren Bragg jumped against the wall attempting a backhanded catch. The ball popped loose as he turned his glove and crashed into the padding. Sitting on the ground, Bragg snagged the ball with his bare hand before it struck the ground, holding it for the umpires to see.

    But umpire Jeff Kellogg, running out from his position at second base, ruled that the ball had struck the wall. Bragg tried to flip the ball to left fielder Chipper Jones, but it sailed over his head. Ventura never stopped running, sliding across home before the Braves could retrieve the ball and throw home.

    Ortiz, who threw a staggering 118 pitches in five innings of work, should have gotten out of the first without a run scoring. With Dave Roberts on after a leadoff single, Jolbert Cabrera hit a grounder to Rafael Furcal for an apparent double play. Instead, second baseman Marcus Giles dropped the throw for an error, leaving both runners aboard. Shawn Green followed with an RBI single.

    Ventura and Jeromy Burnitz both struck out, but Ortiz couldn't limit the damage. The right-hander left a 1-1 fastball in Beltre's eyes, and the third baseman hit it deep into the left-field stands for his 10th homer in a disappointing season.

    Beltre came into the game hitting just .222, prompting the Dodgers to trade for Ventura in an attempt to boost their anemic offense.

    Both contributed in this game. Ventura made his first start at first base since Sept. 2, 1996.

    Los Angeles, which had managed only 12 runs in its last nine games, had its high-scoring output since an 8-5 victory at St. Louis on July 18.

    Mullen, called up before the game to replace the injured Kazuhisa Ishii, went to the mound with a 4-0 lead but couldn't hang around long enough to get the win. In the first, he walked four and hit a batter as the Braves scored three times with only one hit.

    Mullen was yanked after the third. Guillermo Mota (3-2), Tom Martin, Paul Shuey, Paul Quantrill and Eric Gagne shut down the Braves the rest of the way.

    The only slip-up came in the seventh, when Gary Sheffield hit his 27th homer off Martin. By then, the Dodgers had built an 8-3 lead on run-scoring hits by Burnitz, Dave Roberts and Cabrera.

    Game notes

    Ventura's homer was the second inside-the-park for the Dodgers this season. Paul Lo Duca had one against the Chicago White Sox on June 8. ... The Braves have been victimized by three inside-the-park homers this season. Florida's Derrek Lee and San Diego's Sean Burroughs had the other ones. ... Bragg was filling in for CF Andruw Jones, who missed his second straight game with a strained right oblique.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press