The Atlanta Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 in Game 2 of their NLDS matchup to even the series at one game apiece.
What a wild game. Mike Minor got off to a shaky start for Atlanta, walking Mark Ellis and allowing an RBI double to make it a 1-0 game right off the reel. But Minor went into shutdown mode after that, not allowing a Dodgers runner to get to second base until Ramirez again doubled in the sixth inning. While that was happening, the Braves were making some noise against Zack Greinke. Evan Gattis singled to lead off the second, moved up to second on a ground out, and scored following a double by Andrelton Simmons to tie the game. The Braves took the lead in the fourth after Freddie Freeman led off with a double, moved to second on a ground out, and scored on a Chris Johnson single.
But in the seventh, things got interesting for the Braves. Skip Schumaker singled to lead off the frame and was bunted to second. Luis Ayala replaced Minor and got a ground ball from Michael Young…but Ayala missed touching second base on the play, meaning Young was safe and there were runners on the corners for Carl Crawford. Luis Avilan replaced Ayala, and got Crawford to bounce into a slick 1-6-3 double play to end the inning and keep Atlanta's one run lead intact. In the bottom of the seventh, the Braves extended their lead after Jason Heyward hit a two-run single, but not before Paco Rodriguez intentionally walked Reed Johnson to load the bases for Heyward. That worked well. The insurance also worked well for the Braves, because Ramirez struck again in the eighth, hitting a two-run homer off of David Carpenter to make it a 4-3 game. Craig Kimbrel then recorded a four out save to seal the win for Atlanta, but not without some controversy on a Dee Gordon caught stealing at second base.
I hate to call this a "workman-like" win, but that's what it was for the Braves. Minor got off to a bad start, but settled in and dominated, allowing one run on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking one and punching out five. To his credit, Zack Greinke wasn't exactly chopped liver, giving up two runs on four hits in six innings, striking out three without a walk. But that extra run that the Braves pushed across early in the game ended up being the difference maker, especially after both teams traded two runs in the final third of the game.
Offensively for the Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez continued his mind-blowing season. Los Angeles' shortstop went 3/4 with two doubles and a homer, driving in all three of the team's runs. No other Dodger could manage anything other than a single on Friday night. For the Braves, Johnson was the only Brave to reach base more than once, though he did both score and drive in a run. Atlanta also didn't make an error in the field after a sloppy (albeit error-free) performance on Thursday in Game 1.
Game 3 of the series will take place on Sunday in Los Angeles on TBS at 8:07 PM. Julio Teheran starts for the Braves, and Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the nod for Los Angeles. It'll be both players' first career Postseason appearance.