The Atlanta Braves were facing a daunting task tonight against Zack Greinke and the Dodgers after last night's 6-1 defeat in Game 1 of the NLDS. A win in Game 2 would even their best-of-five series after getting through the Dodgers' two aces.
Thankfully for Atlanta, strong pitching performances from Mike Minor, David Carpenter, and Craig Kimbrel kept the Dodgers' bats mostly at bay, while Jason Heyward drove in the game winning runs late in the game and the defense turned three double plays to take a 4-3 victory on Friday night.
The Braves got one last huge defensive play in the ninth when Gerald Laird and Andrelton Simmons hooked up to nab the Dodgers' Dee Gordon in a steal attempt with one out in the ninth inning. Laird took a 100-mph fastball from closer Craig Kimbrel and fired it to second to barely nail Gordon.
Kimbrel struck out three in 1 1/3 innings.
Mike Minor got the win, giving up one run and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He got out of a big jam in the sixth, punching out Juan Uribe with runners at the corners.
Hanley Ramirez drove in all of the Dodgers' runs, with a double in the first and a two-run homer in the eighth. The Braves got their runs from a Simmons double in the second, a Chris Johnson single in the fourth, and Heyward's two-run single in the seventh with the bases loaded.
The teams will travel tomorrow and will meet in Los Angeles on Sunday at 8 PM for Game 3. Julio Teheran (14-8, 3.20 ERA) will take the hill for Atlanta, while Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00 ERA) will pitch for Los Angeles.