Bats of Flowers, Smith lead Braves to 4th straight win
ATLANTA (AP) Tyler Flowers doesn't think the rebuilding Atlanta Braves will get too far ahead of themselves with a modest four-game winning streak.
After all, it was just last week that they were in the midst of losing nine straight games to begin the season.
But at least they looked sharp against one of the NL's better teams.
''That's a pretty good lineup over there,'' Flowers said. ''So to hold them to one run was real nice.''
Flowers went 4 for 4 and drove in three runs, Mallex Smith had three RBIs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 on Tuesday night.
Sloppy defense and a poor start by Alex Wood (1-2) doomed Los Angeles, which had three fielding errors, two hit batters, a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Williams Perez, starting on three days' rest, held the Dodgers hitless before Adrian Gonzalez singled with one out in the fourth, but Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled him after the next batter, Yasiel Puig, singled hard to left.
Ryan Weber took Perez's place and struck out Howie Kendrick to end a threat with runners on third and first.
Weber (1-0) gave up three hits, one run and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings. He was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday.
''I knew my role coming into tonight was the long relief role,'' Weber said. ''I came in and did my job, threw strikes and got people out.''
Perez allowed two hits, three walks and struck out one in 3 1/3 innings. He started because Julio Teheran was sidelined with flu symptoms.
Wood, facing his former team for the first time since last summer's trade, gave up seven hits, three walks and six runs - three earned - in four innings.
''It's not really the way I pictured coming back here for the first time,'' Wood said. ''Fastball command just wasn't very good tonight. I think that was the most frustrating thing.''
The Braves went up 2-0 in the first on Jeff Francoeur's sacrifice fly and Flowers' single.
Atlanta took a 4-0 lead in the third. Adonis Garcia was hit by a pitch and scored on Flowers' single. Third baseman Justin Turner booted a grounder to load the bases, and Wood walked Smith for the second run.
The Braves made it 6-0 in the fourth. Shortstop Corey Seager misplayed Garcia's grounder, allowing Freddie Freeman to advance to third and score on Francoeur's single. After Yasmani Grandal's passed ball moved Garcia to third, he scored on Flowers' single.
Los Angeles cut the lead to 6-1 in the fifth on Seager's RBI groundout. Smith's two-run double made it 8-1 in the seventh.
STILL ON THE BOOKS
Braves LF Hector Olivera had his paid administrative leave extended to May 3 in an agreement by Major League Baseball and the players' association. Olivera was arrested April 13 in Washington, D.C., and charged with assault and battery against a woman. The Braves acquired Olivera last July 30 in a three-team deal that sent Wood to Los Angeles.
Dodgers: LF Carl Crawford (lower back soreness) will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Oklahoma City and is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Sunday. ... Crawford is one of 10 Dodgers on the DL.
Braves: Teheran came to the ballpark and told manager Gonzalez that he felt weak after running a fever Monday night. Gonzalez decided to start Perez instead. Teheran will start Wednesday. ... CF Ender Inciarte (hamstring) can come off the disabled list Saturday, but Gonzalez said he might need another two weeks to recover.
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (0-0) will make his third career start and first against Atlanta. Stripling has a 2.03 ERA and has allowed five hits and five walks in 13 1/3 innings.
Braves: Teheran (0-2) hopes to shake off flu symptoms after missing his turn in the rotation. He is 0-4 with a 6.08 in four career starts against the Dodgers.