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Braves vs. Dodgers: Atlanta Avoids Sweep With Walk-off 4-3 Victory

The Atlanta Braves had not been swept this season. Despite it looking like that streak would end early Sunday afternoon, the team was able to mount a rally off Clayton Kershaw and then come through with a walk-off victory in the ninth inning.

Matt Kemp drove in all three of LA's runs in the third inning with a three-run mammoth home run to left field. The MVP candidate took a high fastball from the young Randall Delgado and continued a recent Turner Field trend of nearly hitting the ball into the second concourse of the outfield seats.

Speaking of Delgado, he was impressive in his third career start outside of the third inning. The 21-year old ended tossing five innings and allowed just four hits in that span. He did walk a few too many batters (three) and his four strikeouts were not overly impressive, but he kept his team in the game until they could mount a rally.

It ended up taking the Braves seven innings to come up with that rally, but they eventually came through. 

David Ross struck out to lead off the inning, but Alex Gonzalez singled off Kershaw to get things moving. Jack Wilson singled to right field to put runners on the corners with one out. Jose Constanza hit a ball sharply at third baseman; on what should have been a double play, Aaron Miles threw the ball wildly to the covering second baseman and all hands were safe.

A wild pitch moved both Wilson and Constanza into scoring position for late-inning hero Brooks Conrad. The utility man took a slider and hit a flare into center field that plated two. After being dominated by Kershaw for the entire game, the Braves had tied the game up at 3-3.

The game moved into the ninth with the score still tied. Jose Constanza battled off an inside fastball and lined it into left field to put the winning run on first base. A wild pitch moved the speedy outfielder into scoring position. Chipper Jones walked, and after Michael Bourn was robbed by a great sliding catch from Andre Ethier, Martin Prado came to the plate as the final hope.

Prado, who was playing first base in place of the resting Freddie Freeman, worked the count to 3-2. He fouled off three pitches before lining a high fastball down the left field line. Constanza came around to score, and the team mobbed Prado on the field.

It certainly wasn't pretty, but the team avoided the sweep and came up with a much needed victory before heading to Philadelphia.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.