Rookie's hit lifts Dodgers

Seldom-used catcher comes through in 11th

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LOS ANGELES --- Rookie catcher A.J. Ellis rarely gets to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He got his eighth start of the season Sunday and certainly made it count.

Ellis came through with an RBI single in the 11th inning for his first game-ending hit in the major leagues, giving Los Angeles a 5-4 victory over the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves and a split of their four-game series.

"We were running out of bodies, so we were happy we were able to get it done when we did," Ellis said.

Russell Martin drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Chavez (0-1), advanced on Blake DeWitt's bunt and came home when Ellis stroked a 1-2 pitch to left field for his seventh RBI.

"Chavez has got a great fastball, and I really had to respect that," Ellis said. "So I just went up there looking for a fastball to hit. But he left a curveball a little bit higher than he would have liked, and I was fortunate to find a hole."

Dodgers relievers Jonathan Broxton, a former Burke County standout, and Ronald Belisario ended the Braves' ninth and 10th innings with strikeouts -- each stranding a runner at third. Belisario (1-0) pitched two innings of two-hit ball for the victory.

Braves starter Tim Hudson allowed four runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in seven-plus innings. The two-time All-Star was about to make his third pitch of the eighth inning to Matt Kemp when he was distracted by someone in the crowd who had an object that was reflecting the sun right into his eyes.

The game was held up until stadium security could identify the fan, and Kemp singled on Hudson's next delivery. At that point, Eric O'Flaherty relieved. Kemp advanced to third on Garret Anderson's bunt and DeWitt's grounder, but Ellis was robbed of a bloop single on a diving catch by Melky Cabrera.


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