BRAVES 3 DODGERS 2
By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA ó Ervin Santana won his sixth straight start at Turner Field, Justin Upton drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and the Atlanta Braves snapped a two-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night.
Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup after missing six games with a sprained left ankle and had two RBIs for the Braves, who had lost 11 of 13.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6) left the game with an apparent right leg injury after allowing six hits and three runs with two walks and seven strikeouts in 5? innings.
The victory allowed second-place Atlanta to stay five games behind Washington in the NL East.
Los Angeles, which leads San Francisco by five games in the NL West, was trying to earn a sixth straight win over the Braves for the first time since Sept. 20, 1987-April 16, 1988.
Santana (12-6) improved to 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his last six starts, giving up eight hits, two runs and two walks with nine strikeouts in six innings.
Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel got the last three outs to earn his 35th save in 39 chances. He walked the first batter he faced, pinch-hitter Andre Either, and the next batter, Dee Gordon, reached on a bunt single.
Kimbrel struck out Yasiel Puig for the first out and gave up a single to Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases before Matt Kemp grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Carl Crawford and Miguel Rojas.
The Braves cut the lead to 2-1 in their half of the second when Evan Gattis doubled, moved to third on a bunt and scored on Simmonsí RBI groundout.
Simmonsí bloop single in the fourth tied the score 2-2.
Atlanta went up in the fifth. Jason Heyward, batting leadoff for the first time since June 17, singled, advanced when Freeman was hit by a pitch and scored from second on Uptonís RBI single.
Puig went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts and one walk.
Simmons, who went 1-for-4, appeared to run and field with no ill effects after missing the last six games with a sprained left ankle.
Dodgers: RHP Roberto Hernandez (6-8) will make his second start since arriving in an Aug. 8 trade with Philadelphia, has a 2.87 ERA and a .189 opponentsí batting average in his last eight games.
Braves: RHP Aaron Harang (9-6) didnít receive a decision in his last five starts despite a 2.81 ERA.
Smiles in the USA
Atlanta bullpen coach Eddie Perez, a native of Venezuela, said before the game that he took a U.S. oath of naturalization in the morning with his family in attendance. Perez, the 1999 NLCS MVP and a Braves coach since 2005, was shown on the video board before the start of the fourth inning and waved to the cheering crowd.