Martin Prado's hit in ninth lifts Braves

Atlanta 4, Los Angeles 3
Atlanta's Martin Prado (front) celebrates his game-winning RBI with Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman (rear). The Braves rallied from three runs down Sunday to defeat Los Angeles and avoid being swept in a three-game series for the first time this year.

ATLANTA — Martin Prado needed eight pitches to get a read on Blake Hawksworth.


When Prado saw a changeup to his liking, he hit it hard.

“I was just going to put the ball in play,” he said. “I was thinking any pitch I can drive, hit it solid. I saw it, I hit it.”

Prado singled in the winning run in the ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves snapped the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory on Sunday.

The Braves avoided getting swept in a three-game series for the first time this season and gave themselves a good send-off for an eight-game road trip that begins today against NL East-leading Philadelphia.

“It was big for us not to go into Philly having lost three straight,” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “One of the biggest wins of the year, I’ll tell you.”

Jose Costanza set up the win with a one-out single off Hawksworth (2-5). Costanza moved to second on a wild pitch and scored easily when Prado’s liner landed inside the left-field line.

Craig Kimbrel (4-2) retired the side in the top half to get the win.

The Braves, who now have an 8½-game lead in the NL wild-card standings, put just one runner in scoring position through the first six innings against Clayton Kershaw.

But third baseman Aaron Miles’ one-out throwing error in the seventh proved costly for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers had a 3-0 lead when Alex Gonzalez singled and moved to third on Jack Wilson’s single. Miles fielded Costanza’s hard grounder cleanly, but his wide throw allowed Gonzalez to score and ruined a potential double play.

Wilson and Costanza moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Brooks Conrad’s broken-bat single, tying it at 3.

Kershaw, who was attempting to tie Arizona’s Ian Kennedy for the NL lead with his 18th victory, allowed three runs, two earned, and 10 hits in seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked none.

Matt Kemp went deep for the Dodgers, hitting a three-run drive with two out in the third for his 32nd homer.

Randall Delgado gave up three runs and four hits in five innings for the Braves.




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