Saturday, June 8, 2013
Quick take: Braves 2, Dodgers 1
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig made another throw that reminded way too many people of Roberto Clemente, smashed a line drive to right field and made you stop everything you were doing every time he came up to bat.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t also leap over the right-field fence to grab either of the fifth-inning home runs hit by the Atlanta Braves that proved the difference in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2-1 loss.
Right-hander Stephen Fife gave the Dodgers a solid outing, giving up two runs, nine hits and striking out seven over 6T innings. But his fate was sealed after giving up solo home runs to Dan Uggla and pitcher Kris Medlen in the top of the fifth.
The Dodgers tried to answer in the sixth inning, when Nick Punto led off with a double and went to third on Adrian Gonzalez’s groundout. But Andre Ethier flied out to center and Scott Van Slyke grounded out to third to end the threat.
Second baseman Skip Schumaker extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with singles in the second, fourth and ninth innings.
But once again, Puig provided the highlights of the night. This time it came on laser throw from right field that nailed the speedy Andrelton Simmons as he tried to go from first to third base on a single by Jason Heyward.
Puig led off the top of the eighth with what can best be described as one of the best -- and scariest -- infield singles you’ll ever see, as he dove into first base to beat out a soft grounder to shortstop, jammed his shoulder and rolled his wrist sliding into the base. He was OK, but the collective gasp from the crowd reinforced just how important he’s become to the Dodgers in his first week in the big leagues.
Puig was thrown out at second on the next play, but slid hard and violently enough to force a bad throw that allowed Punto to reach base and later score on a pinch-hit, two-out RBI single by Hanley Ramirez.
The Dodgers threatened again in the bottom of the ninth, advancing Schumaker to second base, but Braves closer Craig Kimbrel struck out Mark Ellis with Puig on deck to end the game.