The Braves jumped out to the early lead in Monday’s opener, but it was the Dodgers that turned the trick Tuesday. Mookie Betts greeted Spencer Strider with a double to the left field corner to start the game. He moved over to third as Freddie Freeman grounded out to Orlando Arcia and then scored on a single by Will Smith through the drawn in infield. Strider recovered by striking out Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez to end the inning.
Spencer Strider's 2 1st Inning Ks. pic.twitter.com/nBPZsIpEDd— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 23, 2023
The Braves answered back quickly against Dodgers’ rookie Bobby Miller. Sean Murphy singled with two outs and then came all the way around to score when Austin Riley smoked an 0-2 pitch into the left center gap for a double.
The game wouldn’t remain tied long as Jason Heyward jumped on the first pitch he saw from Strider in the second and drove it out to right to put Los Angeles back in front 2-1. Strider struck out David Peralta and James outman before Miguel Rojas reached on an error by Matt Olson at first. That would prove costly as Strider walked Betts and then uncorked a wild pitch to move runners up to second and third. The Braves elected to intentionally walk Freeman, but Smith made them pay with a two-run double to left to put them up 4-1.
Strider worked around a one-out walk to Heyward third and added two more strikeouts to his total.
Ronald Acuña Jr. walked to leadoff the third and then picked up his 20th stolen base of the season. After a strikeout by Olson, Acuña moved over to third on a grounder by Murphy that was flagged down with a diving stop by Max Muncy for the second out. Riley lined out to center to leave Acuña at third.
Strider picked up his eighth strikeout in a much-needed 1-2-3 fourth inning. Ozzie Albies doubled past a diving Peralta in left with one out in the fourth and then moved to third on a wild pitch by Miller. However, the Braves again couldn’t come up with a timely hit as Marcell Ozuna struck out and Arcia grounded out to end the inning.
Strider retired the side in order again in the fifth, but Miller held the Braves in check again. Strider came back out for the sixth and allowed a single to Heyward. He then struck out Peralta, Outman and Rojas to end the inning.
It was a nice pitching performance from both starters Tuesday night. Miller showed impressive stuff in his debut holding the Braves to just four hits and one run over five innings. He walked one and struck out five. Strider allowed five hits and four runs, although only two were earned due to the error. He walked three and struck out 11 while throwing 104 pitches. It was the 10th time in 30 career starts that Strider finished with double figure strikeouts.
The Dodgers added on against Collin McHugh in the seventh. Betts walked to leadoff the inning. After a Freeman fly out, Smith singled to right to put runners at first and second. Max Muncy then singled off the bricks in right on a 2-2 sweeper that scored Betts to make it 5-1.
Dodgers pitchers retired 10 straight Braves hitters before Arcia singled with two outs in the seventh, but Sam Hilliard popped out to end the inning. Murphy worked a two-out walk off of Evan Phillips in the eighth, but Riley flew out to left to leave him stranded.
The Dodgers blew the game wide open in the ninth as J.D. Martinez hit a three-run home run off of Michael Tonkin to extend the lead to 8-1.
The Braves managed just five hits in the game and struck out 10 times. They left six men on base and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Atlanta falls to 29-19 on the season and suffer their first series loss since getting swept in Toronto on their previous road trip. They will try to avoid a sweep Wednesday when Bryce Elder matches up against Tony Gonsolin.