The Dodgers had a lot of different storylines to deal with on Monday evening in Los Angeles. There was the return of Kenley Jansen to the team that he came up with after signing a free-agent deal with the Braves this offseason, but there was also the reunion of Freddie Freeman with Atlanta.
Add in the fact that it was the game after Clayton Kershaw was pulled after 7 perfect innings, and there was a lot of emotions to manage. But the Dodgers offense came out firing, and Freddie Freeman crushed the firs homerun of his Dodger career in the very first at-bat of the game.
But a 5-run onslaught in the 4th inning once against fueled the Dodgers. They’re starting to make a habit out of big innings over this winning stretch. What started with a Justin Turner double culminated in a big inning capped off by Trea Turner’s double to score a pair of runs.
As for Clayton Kershaw, he was mostly crusing through the first 4 innings, shutting out the Braves and not allowing much hard contact at all. But in the 5th inning, Guillermo Heredia took him deep to left for a solo shot to put the Braves on the board. They added to that in the 6th inning when Ozzie Albies led off with a homerun.
After a single and a groundrule double, Kershaw was removed from the game for Brusdar Graterol. He would eventually work his way out of the inning, but not before allowing two of those runners to come across. The Dodgers would then add on in the 8th innings thanks to a solo shot off the bat of Cody Bellinger.
Behind Brusdar, the Dodgers bullpen shut it down. Daniel Hudson came in and struck out a pair. Phil Bickford got through the inning with ease in his 2022 debut. And Craig Kimbrel came in to slam the door shut HARD on his former team. He allowed a man to reach base on a wild pitch strikeout, but would induce a doubleplay with the next batter.
Up next, the Dodgers will send out Walker Buehler to face off against Max Fried on Tuesday night.