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Chipper Hits Birthday Homer, Prado Lifts Braves To Victory Over Dodgers

Happy birthday, old timer!
Happy birthday, old timer!

Martin Prado gave Chipper Jones a pretty nice birthday gift: a win over the Dodgers.

On Chipper Jones's 40th birthday, the Braves handed the Dodgers their first home loss of the season, winning 4-3.

Braves starter Mike Minor fell behind early, surrendering a first-inning two-run homer to Juan Rivera, but Minor settled in after that, facing the minimum over the next three innings thanks to a pair of double plays. In the fourth, Dan Uggla snagged a tough pop-up by Rivera and fired to first to double off Matt Kemp, who argued he was safe and may have been right.

Dodgers starter Aaron Harang held the Braves to one hit through the first four innings, but leading off the fifth, Chipper Jones blasted a home run to cut the deficit in half. The rally continued with two singles and a walk when Prado came to bat with one out. He grounded out to second, but on a ball hit soft enough to avoid a double play and the Braves tied the score.

The score was still tied in the top of the sixth when with two outs and Brian McCann at third, Harang wild pitched him home to give the Braves the lead. However, that didn't last long when in the bottom of the inning, Dee Gordon and Mark Ellis reached on consecutive singles for Matt Kemp. Kemp hit into what looked to be a sure double play, but Freddie Freeman couldn't pick the low throw from Dan Uggla and Gordon scored the tying run easily. Brian McCann, however, noticed Kemp had turned toward first base and ordered Freeman to tag him because once Kemp stepped toward second base in fair territory, he could be tagged out, and the umpires agreed. Minor escaped the inning with no further damage.

The sixth was Minor's final inning despite only throwing 79 pitches. He allowed eight hits and struck out two without a walk. He has now gone 21 innings without issuing a walk. Harang allowed three runs on six hits in six innings.

The score remained tied into the ninth when Tyler Pastornicky slapped his third hit of the game leading off the inning against Dodgers closer Javy Guerra. With two outs, Martin Prado fought with Guerra, fouling off four pitches before smacking the seventh pitch he saw to deep center that Matt Kemp couldn't grab, allowing Pastornicky to score easily.

Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save despite allowing a hit and a walk.

Eric O'Flaherty pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief for the win.

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