ATLANTA — After nicking Clayton Kershaw for 10 hits, the Braves were feeling pretty good about themselves.
Too bad for Atlanta, it was a familiar outcome.
Yasmani Grandal drove home the go-ahead run with a 10th-inning double, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Braves on Thursday, even though Kershaw clearly didn’t have his best stuff.
Atlanta slipped to 4-11 after its second straight extra-inning loss to the Dodgers.
“We were going after it pretty good,” said Drew Stubbs, who had two of the hits off Kershaw. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t push across more than one run.”
Kershaw came in with a 1.64 ERA, signaling the start of another overpowering season for the three-time NL Cy Young winner. This was a bit of a hiccup, marking only the fourth time in 246 career starts that he’s given up double-figure hits, though he did give up only one run in eight innings and struck out 10.
He even unleashed a blooper pitch to Tyler Flowers in the fourth, the looper clocked at a mere 46 mph.
“Weird day,” Kershaw said. “It was a grind, for sure.”
Coming off his first career save, Matt Wisler allowed just four hits and an unearned run in 6 2-3 innings for the Braves.
“He went pitch for pitch with one of the premier pitchers of our era,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
It was a boost of confidence for the second-year pitcher, who gave up seven runs in 12 2-3 innings over his first two starts before an impromptu save last Sunday.
“Going against a guy like Kershaw, you know you’ve got to bring it,” Wisler said.
Both teams scored in the first. Then, it was nothing but a string of zeroes until the 10th, when Enrique Hernandez singled with one out against Alexi Ogando (1-1) and came around to score on Grandal’s shot off the center-field wall.
Chris Hatcher (2-1) worked a scoreless ninth before Kenley Jansen earned his seventh save.
The Braves had their chances against Kershaw, most notably squandering a base-loaded opportunity in the second. Mallex Smith struck out and Wisler grounded into an inning-ending double play.
“When guys get on base, he elevates his game,” Gonzalez said of Kershaw. “The miles per hour on his fastball goes up. His breaking ball gets better.”
Kershaw wasn’t as nifty on the bases, getting thrown out at the plate to end the seventh. The Dodgers challenged the call, which was upheld after a 4 1-2-minute video review.
Los Angeles jumped ahead in the first off a throwing error by third baseman Adonis Garcia, who sailed it high and wide of first after fielding Corey Seager’s grounder. Seager stole second and came home on Joc Pederson’s two-out single.
Atlanta quickly tied it up in the bottom half. Erick Aybar led off with a double down the left-field line, and Daniel Castro followed with another double to center field, the ball just out of reach of a lunging Pederson. Castro tried to stretch it into a triple, but he was thrown out at third.
The Braves challenged, believing Castro got a foot on the bag ahead of the tag. That call also was upheld on review.
FIELD OF ERRORS
The Braves and their opponents have combined for 22 errors in the first eight games of Turner Field’s farewell season.
Privately, there has been some grumbling about the quality of the infield, with one Los Angeles player overheard before the game wondering if the ground crew “is mailing it in” since the Braves are moving to a new suburban stadium in 2017.
Of course, the field wasn’t to blame for Garcia’s wild throw and an outfield collision between Smith and Jeff Francoeur.
AVILAN COMES UP
Former Atlanta reliever Luis Avilan was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game after Dodgers pitcher Chad Coleman went on the bereavement list because of his grandfather’s death.
Dodgers: RHP Pedro Baez underwent the concussion protocol after being struck in the back of the head by a ball while teammate Adam Liberatore was warming up in the bullpen during Wednesday night’s game. “He feels much better today,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Dodgers: LHP Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.43 ERA) will face Colorado on Friday to start a three-game series. His won his only career start against the Rockies in 2007.
Braves: RHP Bud Norris (1-1, 6.23) will make his fourth start in the opener of a weekend series against the Mets. He hasn’t beaten New York since Aug. 9, 2010, while with the Astros.