Game three of the Braves-Dodgers series followed the script of the first two. Los Angeles got out to an early lead as the Braves’ starter struggled, and the offense was unable to overcome the deficit. The Dodgers went on to win by a score of 9-4.
Mike Foltynewicz was rolling along to begin the night before allowing a two-out single to Alex Verdugo and homer to Kikè Hernandez in the second inning to put the Braves behind 2-0. Max Muncy would hit a solo homer of his own in the next frame to extend the lead.
Ronald Acuña Jr., mired in the longest slump of his short career, launched a Clayton Kershaw curveball in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2. It was Acuña’s first homer since April 16 and a very welcome site for the young phenom. Hopefully this ignites one of his streaks where opposing pitchers can’t get him out.
The Dodger bats wouldn’t be quieted for long, though, as they scored two more in the fifth. Muncy continued to torment the Braves with an RBI single, and a wild pitch from Foltynewicz allowed another to score.
Atlanta would battle back in the seventh with a two-out rally of their own. Charlie Culberson singled in place of Foltynewicz, and he was followed by an Ozzie Albies single. Josh Donaldson smoked a ball past the shortstop to score Culberson and make it 5-3 and knock Kershaw out of the game. Freddie Freeman then singled to make it 5-4, but a sharp Acuña groundout would end the threat.
The Braves’ bullpen, which has been better in recent weeks, picked a bad night to be awful. AJ Minter promptly loaded the bases after the team cut the deficit to one and allowed two runs to score. Jacob Webb cleaned up the mess in the seventh without further damage but then gave up a two-run homer to (who else?) Justin Turner in the eighth to effectively end the game.
The Braves will try to figure things out in Arizona against the red-hot Diamondbacks. It will be Mike Soroka against Luke Weaver, with first pitch at 9:40 p.m. ET.