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Atlanta at Los Angeles

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Atlanta (55-54)0201001004100
L.A. Dodgers (67-42) «0011000035120

Ethier does it again, hits walk-off homer to lift Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier has been making a habit of creating mob scenes at home plate at Dodger Stadium and sending opposing teams back to the dugout shaking their heads.

Ethier hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Atlanta closer Rafael Soriano -- Ethier's major league-leading fifth walkoff hit of the season -- to give Los Angeles a 5-4 victory over the Braves on Thursday night.

The Dodgers recorded their 11th walkoff win and 29th come-from-behind victory to improve the best record in the majors to 67-42.

"We really have been anything but consistent in the last week of so, but the thing that's been satisfying to me is that these guys go out there and bust it every night," said manager Joe Torre, whose team was facing their eight loss in 12 games before Ethier's dramatics.

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"They play every inning and keep coming back at people. There's nine innings in this game. So with that part of the batting order coming up in the ninth inning, all we had to do was get the tying run to the plate and we had a chance."

Juan Pierre led off the ninth with an infield hit. Rafael Furcal's hit-and-run single sent Pierre to third, and Ethier drove a 2-0 pitch to right field for his 23rd homer and third walkoff. He raised his team-leading RBI total to 72 -- just five shy of his career best.

"He's been incredible in that situation," Torre said. "This kid hasn't really played a lot of major league baseball. And to just have that kind of calm in those situations is pretty special. Soriano fell behind him 2-0, and he knows that Manny (Ramirez) is behind Ethier. So it's that old rock and a hard place, and he has to throw a strike."

The victory went to rookie Scott Elbert (2-0), who pitched a hitless ninth.

Soriano (1-3) had his third blown save in 19 attempts.

"No one feels any worse than Soriano," Braves starter Derek Lowe said. "Anytime something happens where your team ends up walking off the field like that, you feel the worst. But there were eight other innings before that. I knew, having played here, that they're extremely good at home.

"I don't know how many comeback wins they have -- especially late -- but it seems like they do it quite often. They're never out of it, and they have the best record for a reason."

Lowe allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings against his former team and left with a 3-2 lead. Chipper Jones made it 4-2 in the seventh with his 14th homer, the 422nd of his career.

"We gave up two cheap hits to lead off the ninth and then got behind on Ethier, who's a good hitter, and he won the game for them," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

It was the third homer given up by Soriano in 50 innings.

Randy Wolf gave up four runs, nine hits and three walks over seven innings in his rematch with Lowe. Last Saturday, Wolf lost a 4-3 decision to him. The no-decision was Wolf's 13th in 24 starts.

"We've been struggling a little bit to play consistently and get back on track," said Ethier, who was on the bottom of a pile of players at home plate. "D. Lowe pitched a great game, but so did Wolf and we found a way to get it done."

Pierre's sacrifice fly in the fourth trimmed Atlanta's lead to 3-2, and was the only fly ball against Lowe in the first five innings.

Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the second when Matt Diaz hit a two-out RBI single, stole second and scored on Adam LaRoche's single. LaRoche is 11 for 21 with three RBI in six games since joining the Braves last Friday in a trade that sent first baseman Casey Kotchman to Boston.

Ramirez's RBI single in the third scored Ethier, who had tripled. The Braves restored their two-run lead in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Nate McLouth.

Notes

  • Lowe and Ramirez, who won a World Series title together with Boston in 2004, faced each other for the first time in a regular-season game. Ramirez was 2 for 3 against him.
  • Pierre batted in the ninth spot and was 1 for 3. He is 9 for 26 with two RBI in those games, and the Dodgers are 4-4.
  • Lowe has allowed eight home runs over 143 innings in his 24 starts with the Braves, after giving up 76 homers over the previous four seasons.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Andre Ethier (right) is greeted by teammates after his league-leading fifth walk-off hit.  (AP)
Andre Ethier (right) is greeted by teammates after his league-leading fifth walk-off hit. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Ethier
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Atlanta

C. Jones
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF4001101 .258
Martin Prado, 2B5000003 .315
Chipper Jones, 3B4131110 .293
Brian McCann, C5000012 .290
Yunel Escobar, SS3110110 .305
Garret Anderson, LF4110013 .288
Matt Diaz, RF4131000 .290
    Ryan Church, RF0000000 .277
Adam LaRoche, 1B3021111 .264
Derek Lowe, P2000014 .184
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Peter Moylan, P1000011 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
Totals35410447  
Batting
2B - Chipper Jones (19, Wolf), Yunel Escobar (21, Wolf), Matt Diaz (11, Kuo)
HR - Chipper Jones (14, Wolf)
SH - Derek Lowe (8)
RBI - Nate McLouth (56), Chipper Jones (52), Matt Diaz (29), Adam LaRoche (46)
2-OUT RBI - Nate McLouth (16), Matt Diaz (12), Adam LaRoche (16)
SB - Chipper Jones (3, 2nd base off Elbert/Martin), Matt Diaz (6, 2nd base off Wolf/Martin)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Prado-Escobar-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
Derek Lowe 6.1822220 4.15
Eric O'Flaherty (H,13) 0.1000000 3.68
Peter Moylan (H,17) 1.1100120 3.49
Rafael Soriano (BS,3; L,1-3)0333001 2.34
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 103-62, Eric O'Flaherty 3-3, Peter Moylan 26-15, Rafael Soriano 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 13-3, Peter Moylan 2-0
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 28, Eric O'Flaherty 1, Peter Moylan 6, Rafael Soriano 3
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5120001 .268
Andre Ethier, RF5223002 .274
Manny Ramirez, LF4021012 .313
Casey Blake, 3B3010101 .287
James Loney, 1B3000103 .289
Russell Martin, C4010012 .266
Orlando Hudson, 2B3110101 .292
Randy Wolf, P1010000 .136
   a- Mark Loretta, PH1010000 .240
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Kemp, PH1000012 .319
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .500
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .200
Juan Pierre, CF3111012 .314
Totals33512534  
a-singled for Wolf in the 7th
b-struck out for Kuo in the 8th
Batting
2B - Casey Blake (24, Moylan)
3B - Andre Ethier (2, Lowe)
HR - Andre Ethier (23, Soriano)
SF - Juan Pierre (1)
SH - Randy Wolf (8)
RBI - Andre Ethier 3 (72), Manny Ramirez (41), Juan Pierre (26)
SB - Casey Blake (3, 2nd base off Lowe/McCann), Randy Wolf (1, 2nd base off Lowe/McCann)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Furcal
Los Angeles Dodgers
Randy Wolf 7944341 3.55
Hong-Chih Kuo 1100020 3.27
Guillermo Mota 0.2000100 3.02
Scott Elbert (W,2-0) 0.1000010 3.77
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 111-68, Hong-Chih Kuo 17-10, Guillermo Mota 13-6, Scott Elbert 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 11-5, Guillermo Mota 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 32, Hong-Chih Kuo 4, Guillermo Mota 3, Scott Elbert 1
Game Information
Attendance - 46399
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether