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Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 6, Braves 4

8/14/2014

ATLANTA -- It’s a shame the Dodgers can’t get a deal done with many of the TV distributors in Southern California, because this team does most of its finest work when it hits the road.

The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 Thursday afternoon at Turner Field to improve their road record to 40-26, easily the best in the majors. With just two road trips left, the Dodgers have yet to have a losing journey from Dodger Stadium.

How it happened: General manager Ned Colletti is looking wise lately. The two pitchers he acquired after the non-waiver deadline have been sharp. Roberto Hernandez made his second straight good start Thursday and Kevin Correia is standing by if the Dodgers need a replacement for injured Hyun-Jin Ryu. Hernandez allowed just three hits and a run over six innings, keeping the Braves in their slump.

Aaron Harang has been pitching well lately, except when he faces his former team. The Dodgers have jumped him for nine earned runs and 14 hits in the 10 1/3 innings he has lasted against them this season. Drew Butera blasted a two-run home run in the second inning and Adrian Gonzalez had a couple of RBI singles.

Hits: If you rule Clayton Kershaw out because he is a starting pitcher, the Dodgers’ only remotely viable candidates for league MVP all had good days. Dee Gordon scored three more runs (giving him 66) and stole two bases (giving him 54) and manufactured a run. Adrian Gonzalez drove in his 81st and 82nd runs. Yasiel Puig had three hits to raise his average to .310. OK, let’s be honest. Kershaw is the Dodgers’ only hope of landing an MVP award, but those three are as important to the Dodgers’ offense as anyone.

Misses: It’s going to be virtually impossible for Andre Ethier to earn back a starting outfield spot unless someone gets hurt. Getting just his fourth start this month, Ethier went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and inning-ending double play. Meanwhile, Carl Crawford batted .448 on the road trip. Considering Scott Van Slyke normally starts against left-handed pitchers, Ethier -- making $15.5 million this season -- has become the fifth outfielder.

Stat of the game: The Braves held Puig hitless the previous two games, but that was an anomaly. He was 3-for-4 Thursday and, including the postseason, is batting .452 in his career against Atlanta. In 14 games against the Braves, those were the only two hitless ones.

Up next: The Dodgers open a nine-game homestand with a weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Friday night Zack Greinke (12-8, 2.84 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers against Jimmy Nelson (2-3, 4.00) in a game that starts at 7:10 p.m.