SAN DIEGO – The Los Angeles Dodgers have won 10 straight games, and now sit atop the NL West after defeating the Atlanta Braves 9-8 on Sunday night.
The Dodgers took advantage of a weak Atlanta team to go ahead 5-3 in the top of the 10th, and they doubled their lead in the bottom of the 11th on a single by Yasiel Puig and a solo home run by Matt Kemp.
The Braves then came back with a four-run rally, scoring five runs in the fifth to tie it.
Jared Wickerham homered and Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers.
But the Dodgers’ lead was cut to 5-4 when Brandon Belt hit a double off Clayton Kershaw in the ninth.
The Marlins rallied for two runs in that inning, including a double by Brandon Crawford that made it 7-4.
The Atlanta bullpen was not able to close out the Dodgers, and the Braves held on to win it 6-5.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly called the win a “good day for the team,” but he admitted that the bullpen’s performance was a concern heading into this weekend.
“It’s the bullpen,” Mattingli said.
“We had a few bad days.
We didn’t have a lot of good days.”
Mets reliever Alex Wood got the first hit of the game with a two in the third inning, but it was later ruled a walk, a play that made a big difference in the game.
Wood struck out four in the inning and gave up a pair of runs on a solo homer by Carlos Santana and a two run single by Ryan Zimmerman in the sixth.
After scoring three runs in just 1:09 of the seventh, Wood had three more in the eighth to get the game’s first run.
Jorge Posada doubled, scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Heyward and then scored on the infield single by Kemp.
The Braves scored three more runs in their next two batters to get ahead 7-3.
After a slow start, the Dodgers scored three in the seventh on two singles by Kemp and another by Jason Grilli, and Kemp hit a solo shot to tie the game at 8-8.
After Kemp’s homer, the Braves scored four in one inning, and it was 4-4 on an error by Braves shortstop Elvis Andrus.
But a groundout by shortstop Andrus ended the rally and sent the game to extra innings.
The Giants won the toss and took over, but they couldn’t get any closer than 7-8 in the 12th when they threw the first pitch of the inning.
It was a ball that bounced in the dirt as a pitch.
It didn’t make a lot.
But the Braves were able to score on the ensuing RBI double from Andrus and two hits in the second by Mark Ellis and a single from Yasiel Perez.
The Dodgers had one run in the first two innings of extra innings and went down 2-1.
Jayson Werth hit a single off Atlanta closer Michael Taylor in the fourth inning to make it 3-3 and give the Dodgers a 2-2 lead.
But Matt Kemp hit an RBI single to tie things up and give his team a 3-2 edge with 1:36 remaining in the frame.
After the Giants scored three runs, Kemp had a walk and a double, and he then doubled and scored on an RBI double by Jose Fernandez.
The bases were loaded at that point.
Andres Torres doubled and walked in the next two innings to make the score 5-5, but the Giants would not fall.
The Cardinals scored two runs on three hits and three walks in the last two innings, giving the Dodgers their first lead of the evening.
Mets pitcher Justin Masterson was the final man to leave the game after he gave up five runs and five hits in seven innings.
Masterson gave up two runs and three hits in three innings.
He gave up three hits, five walks and four runs in three-plus innings.
After the game, Masterson said he had trouble breathing and was feeling “overheated.”