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Sunday July 24th, 2016 10:28PM

Gordon scores 4 runs as Dodgers beat Braves, 6-4

By The Associated Press
  Contact Editor
ATLANTA -- Despite hitting only .229 in the first 12 games in August, Dee Gordon remained confident in his approach as he refused to make changes that might lead to bad habits.<br /> <br /> Gordon's self-confidence paid off on Thursday, as he had three hits and scored four runs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers past the slumping Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Thursday.<br /> <br /> Gordon, hitting .291 overall, also stole two bases, increasing his total to 54, the most in the major leagues.<br /> <br /> "Dee Gordon beat us," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's probably your most traditional leadoff hitter I've seen in a long time."<br /> <br /> Gordon had plenty of help. Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez, who followed Gordon in the batting order, each also had three hits. Gonzalez drove in three runs.<br /> <br /> "When your guys up top get on, it just changes the game," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who said Gordon "was setting the tone, getting on and stealing bases."<br /> <br /> Drew Butera hit a two-run homer, his first in almost three months, in the second inning for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who won three of four in the series.<br /> <br /> The Braves, who began the day five games behind first-place Washington in the NL East, have lost 12 of 14.<br /> <br /> "We've still got 41 games left," said Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who had three hits, including a double in the three-run eighth. "We can still make something of this if we keep grinding."<br /> <br /> Roberto Hernandez (7-8), making his second start since his trade from the Phillies on Aug. 7, allowed one run on three hits and four walks in six innings.<br /> <br /> Butera's second-inning homer off Aaron Harang (9-7) was only his third of the season and his first since May 16.<br /> <br /> Kenley Jansen struck out B.J. Upton with runners on second and third to end the game.<br /> <br /> The Braves trailed 5-1 before Justin Upton's two-run double off Brian Wilson in the eighth. Andrelton Simmons' single off Jansen drove in Upton, cutting the Dodgers' lead to one run.<br /> <br /> Jansen struck out pinch-hitter Evan Gattis to end the eighth but ran into trouble in the ninth. After giving up a one-out walk to Jason Heyward, Jansen struck out Emilio Bonifacio. Freeman doubled, moving Heyward to third. Jansen wrapped up his 34th save on Upton's swinging strikeout.<br /> <br /> Harang had his worst start in two months, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings. Harang hadn't allowed as many runs since he was charged with nine runs, eight earned, in a 10-5 loss to Philadelphia on June 18.<br /> <br /> TRAINER'S ROOM<br /> <br /> Dodgers: Mattingly said RHP Josh Beckett won't come off the 15-day disabled list when eligible on Tuesday. Beckett, who has a left hip impingement, will have more tests and Mattingly said surgery "is a possibility." ... Mattingly said LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu may have a MRI after leaving Wednesday night's game with a right gluteus muscle strain.<br /> <br /> Braves: After doubling and advancing with a slide into third base in the eighth, Upton left the game with a mild left hamstring strain. "It's something that flares up," he said. The Braves say his status is day to day. B.J. Upton came in as a pinch-runner.<br /> <br /> UP NEXT<br /> <br /> Dodgers: After completing a nine-game road trip, the Dodgers open a home series against Milwaukee as RHP Zack Greinke looks for his 13th win against RHP Jimmy Nelson. Greinke, an All-Star this season, is 6-2 with a 2.66 in 10 home starts.<br /> <br /> Braves: Atlanta opens a weekend series against the AL West-leading Oakland A's as LHP Alex Wood (8-9) tries to reach .500 against Jason Hammel (1-4).<br /> <br /> AVILAN RECALLED<br /> <br /> Luis Avilan, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett, gave up one run on two hits and a walk in the ninth. He said he focused on his curveball and change-up at Gwinnett. He joins James Russell as left-handers in the Braves' bullpen. The team optioned RHP Juan Jaime to Gwinnett following Wednesday night's win.<br /> <br /> BACK TO THE WALL<br /> <br /> Puig made a leaping catch of Freeman's drive at the 400-foot mark, falling with his back against the centerfield wall in the sixth.
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