Back-To-Back Homers Lift Braves Over Dodgers Saturday

Saturday, May 18, 2013
Rhea County native Cory Gearrin picked up the win in relief.
Rhea County native Cory Gearrin picked up the win in relief.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Evan Gattis added to his legend with a two-run, pinch-hit home run off Kenley Jansen, and Andrelton Simmons followed with a home run of his own to cap a three-run eighth inning that provided the Braves a 3-1 win over the Dodgers.

After continuing his success against the Braves through seven innings, Dodgers starter Chris Capuano exited after B.J. Upton ended an 0-for-16 stretch with a one-out single in the eighth inning. It prompted the entry of Jansen, who saw Gattis foul off three consecutive two-strike pitches before hitting a 94-mph fastball over the left-field wall.

It was the second career pinch-hit home run for Gattis, who also came off the bench and provided the decisive home run in an April 18 win against the Pirates. The 26-year-old rookie catcher's playing time has been limited by the recent returns of Brian McCann and Jason Heyward. But with eight home runs through his first 116 career at-bats, he has given the Braves reason to continue finding ways to get him to the plate.

Simmons' home run off Jansen, a fellow native of Curacao, provided a two-run cushion for Craig Kimbrel, who notched his 13th save with a perfect ninth inning.

A few hours after learning top setup man Eric O'Flaherty would likely need to undergo Tommy John surgery, Medlen matched a season-high seven innings and limited the Dodgers to only two hits. His most determined effort was in jeopardy of going to waste until Gattis delivered his latest memorable home run.

Adrian Gonzalez drew a one-out walk in the fourth inning, then appeared to be slowing down as he neared third base on Skip Schumaker's double. But Gonzalez re-ignited his engine and lumbered toward the plate when Justin Upton fumbled the carom off the wall in the left-field corner.

Had Upton cleanly fielded Schumaker's double, the Dodgers would have had runners on second and third when Tim Federowicz followed with an inning-ending strikeout.

It appeared the one unearned run scored against Medlen might be enough for Capuano, who surrendered five hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings. Medlen has battled mechanical issues that prevented him from even approaching the mastery that he produced while recording a 0.97 ERA in the 12 starts he made last year. But after completing seven innings in three of his past four starts, he has started to provide signs of encouragement.

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