Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Kris Medlen pitched 6 2-3 scoreless innings and hit his first major league home run, Dan Uggla also went deep, and the Atlanta Braves continued their recent stretch of dominant starting pitching in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
Medlen (3-6) scattered five hits, struck out six and allowed only one baserunner as far as third. That was in the sixth inning, when the right-hander retired Andre Ethier on a flyball to shallow center field and fanned Scott Van Slyke after Nick Punto led off with a double and advanced on a groundout by Adrian Gonzalez.
Medlen has won back-to-back starts for the first time this season, and has a 2.87 ERA over his first 13 starts. Last year he was 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA in 12 regular-season starts after being inserted into the rotation on July 31.
Atlanta's rotation has yielded just three runs in 31 1-3 innings spanning the team's last five games. This stretch included eight innings of one-hit ball by rookie Julio Teheran, who came within four outs of a no-hitter on Wednesday against Pittsburgh, and back-to-back starts by Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm in which they each allowed one run in games the Braves lost.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, hobbled by a troublesome left hamstring, pinch hit for the third straight night and greeted Jordan Walden with an RBI single in the eighth. The unearned run was charged to Luis Avilan, after a throwing error by shortstop Andrelton Simmons on an attempted double-play relay to first base.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 21 attempts.
Stephen Fife (1-1) allowed two runs and nine hits with seven strikeouts in his third start of the season and second since getting recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace the injured Chris Capuano in the Dodgers' rotation.
Uggla led off the fifth with his 11th homer on an 0-2 pitch, and Medlen hit a 1-0 delivery just over the right field fence two batters later.
Yasiel Puig continued to shine for the Dodgers in his first week in the major leagues. He got two more hits along with his second outfield assist, charging Jason Heyward's single to right field in the fifth and firing a seed to third baseman Luis Cruz on the fly to nab Andrelton Simmons as he tried to advance two bases.
In six games so far, the Cuban-born phenom is 10 for 23 in the leadoff spot with 10 RBIs and four home runs — including an opposite-field grand slam.
Simmons drove Fife's second pitch of the game to left-center for a double, Heyward walked and Justin Upton advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt — only the third of his seven-year career and first in 1,559 plate appearances since his previous one on Sept. 14, 2010. But Fife escaped the jam, throwing called third strikes past Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann.
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