Hampton hurt early, but Braves win
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The
' bullpen provided the stability and
supplied the power.
Four Braves relievers combined for 6 2/3 strong innings and Jones homered twice as Atlanta posted a 5-1 victory over the
Los Angeles Dodgers
got through the first 2 1/3 innings untouched, extending his scoreless streak to 12 1/3 frames, before leaving in the third with tightness in his forearm.
"He had (the injury) last year," Braves manager
said. "His whole forearm was as hard as a rock. He's smart enough to know when to shut it down. He should be perfectly OK for his next start."
"When I was out in the bullpen, it never loosened up," Hampton said. "From the first pitch I couldn't get a feel for it."
Forced to make early use of their bullpen, the Braves got great production, beginning with
(3-0). Bernero got Atlanta through the sixth inning before being chased in the seventh after J.D. Drew singled in the Dodgers' lone run.
"I had seeds in my mouth and next thing I know, I'm in the game," Bernero said. "That probably helped me in that situation."
Bernero also recorded his first major league hit, a bloop single in the fifth.
"I thought it might fall in, then I saw the (Dodgers second baseman
) dive and I thought, 'Let that thing fall,'" Bernero said. "I don't get that many at-bats."
combined to toss 3 2/3 hitless innings to finish off the win, one made easier with a late power surge.
"The bullpen came up huge," Hampton said. "I'm sorry from my standpoint that they had to come in so early."
Jones, who had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, had a solo homer in the sixth for a 3-0 lead and capped the scoring with another blast against
in the ninth.
"Andruw is very capable," Cox said. "Every year he's going to hit 30 (homers) and drive in some runs. That's the kind of hitter he is."
Jones' second homer followed one by
to make Gagne's 2005 debut a difficult one. The Braves improved to 36-6 in games when both Andruw and
"I'm really feeling comfortable at the plate," said
, who is hitting .381 with five homers in May. "I'm just trying to go up there each time with a good approach."
Gagne, who recorded 152 saves for Los Angeles over the past three years, was making his first appearance of the year after starting the season on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain. He was charged with two runs and three hits but did manage to strike out the side.
"I was behind in the count to every guy," Gagne said. "I just didn't throw strikes. I was rushing and I need to slow down. It felt good to get my feet wet."
"I thought Gagne was sharp," Cox said. "He had two pitches I'm sure he'd like back, but he was great."
(4-4) was the tough-luck loser, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter but fell victim to poor run support from a Dodgers' offense that managed just five hits.
"It's just a case of our offense not getting it done," Dodgers manager
said. "It's tough to win a ballgame when you only have one run. We just didn't threaten at all tonight."
Last year, Perez received the lowest run support among National League starting pitchers as the team scored an average of 3.30 runs per nine innings that he pitched.
In this one, he threw only 73 pitches and left the game with stiffness in his pitching arm.
"I didn't have my fastball," Perez said. "I had to use my change and curve. I came out because I felt stiffness. I went into the game knowing I wasn't 100 percent. It shouldn't be anything to be concerned about."