Jace Peterson drove in three runs and Nick Markakis hit his first home run of the season as the Braves overcame Matt Wisler’s rough fifth inning for a 7-5 win Monday night over the Dodgers at Turner Field.
After the Dodgers tied the game with four two-out runs in the fifth, they saw their former third baseman Juan Uribe put the Braves back on top for good with an RBI single off left-hander Adam Liberatore in the bottom half of the inning. Liberatore entered in relief of former Atlanta pitcher Brandon Beachy, who completed four innings while making his second start since returning from a second Tommy John surgery.
The Braves, who had lost seven of their previous eight games, padded their advantage in the sixth when Peterson’s single plated two runs. This proved to be enough for Wisler, who scattered three hits over the first four innings and then surrendered three consecutive extra-base hits, including Howie Kendrick’s two-run double and Adrian Gonzalez’s game-tying, two-run homer within a span of four pitches in the fifth. The Braves rookie got through the sixth inning unscathed and then saw his effort preserved when Jim Johnson induced a key double play off Kendrick’s bat after the Dodgers loaded the bases with none out in the ninth.
Markakis sparked the Braves’ 11-hit attack with a two-run shot in the first inning, his first home run in a span of 356 at-bats dating back to Sept. 25. The right fielder, who has struggled to generate his normal power while coming back from offseason neck surgery, added a double in the fifth that put him in position to score on the decisive single by Uribe, who was traded from the Dodgers to the Braves on May 27.
After Beachy walked Wisler to load the bases in the fourth, Peterson delivered an opposite-field flare that resulted in a two-run double and extended his success in these situations. The Braves second baseman has gone 9-for-14 with three doubles, a triple and a home run with the bases loaded this season.
Eury Perez’s strong throw in the eighth helped stop a Dodgers rally after Gonzalez and Justin Turner started the inning with back-to-back singles. After fielding pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke’s ground ball to left, Perez came up and fired a strike to catcher A.J. Pierzynski at the plate, helping the Braves retain a 7-4 lead.
Atlanta will host the Dodgers for game 2 of the series on Tuesday with Alex Wood pitching. Wood has allowed a season-high 10 hits in three of his past four uninterrupted starts. Wood made two starts within the final four days before the All-Star break. Thunder Radio will bring you that broadcast beginning at 6:00 PM.