Rafael Ortega, recalled from the minor leagues last week, hit his first career grand slam to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 5-3 win over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Ortega connected in the sixth inning against reliever Dustin May (1-2) for a long homer to right field, his first since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.
The Braves won the final two games of the three-game series between two division-leading clubs. The Dodgers won four of six against Atlanta this season.
The maligned Atlanta bullpen worked four scoreless innings to finish the game and retired the last 10 Dodgers in order. Winning pitcher Anthony Swarzak (3-3), Chris Martin, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon each worked a shutout inning. Melancon earned his fourth save.
Cody Bellinger put the Dodgers ahead in the first inning with a three-run homer to straightaway center field. It was Bellinger’s 42nd homer.
Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. almost stole that home run from Bellinger. He tracked the ball, jumped and had it in his glove before losing it on the way down.
Acuna was removed in the third inning for a lack of effort after hitting a long fly to center field and standing in a pose at home plate rather than running. The ball did not leave the park, and A.J. Pollock fielded the ball as it bounced off the right-field wall, holding Acuna to a single. Manager Brian Snitker lifted Acuna and put in Adam Duvall.
The Braves cut the lead to 3-1 with a run in the fourth inning on a double by Adeiny Hechavarria. It was the only run allowed by Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin in his four innings. Gonsolin gave up one run on five hits with two strikeouts in his third start, first since Aug. 5.
Atlanta starter Max Fried pitched well after the shaky first inning. He worked five innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, with three walks and eight strikeouts. Fried also picked Pollock off first base, moving him into a tie for the league lead with five pickoffs.
—Field Level Media