Max Muncy homers again as Dodgers power past Braves

Max Muncy homers again as Dodgers power past Braves

June 11th, 2018 by Associated Press in Sports - Professional

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling delivers to Atlanta Braves Ozzie Albies during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Photo by Kelvin Kuo

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp hits an RBI single during the third inning of Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers won 7-2.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp hits an...

Photo by Kelvin Kuo

LOS ANGELES — With every swing, Max Muncy becomes more valuable to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Muncy homered in his third straight game, and Logan Forsythe and Enrique Hernandez also connected Sunday as the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 7-2.

Muncy's 12 home runs match the total he hit last year while spending the whole season at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He hit a solo drive in the fifth inning to extend the Dodgers' lead to 4-2, and he also drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.

"Just a good stretch for me. That's how baseball goes. It seems like there's a lot of pitches over the plate for me," he said.

"I'm sure it won't be long before I have a stretch where it seems everything is right on the corner. That's kind of how it goes. When you get in a stretch like this, you have to take advantage of it."

The Dodgers took the series from Atlanta and have won seven of their past nine games. The 2017 National League champions moved to 33-32 — they have not been more than one game over .500 this season.

Ross Stripling (5-1) has been the Dodgers' most consistent — and healthy — part of the rotation. He allowed home runs by Ozzie Albies, his 15th this season, and Freddie Freeman, his 12th, in the fourth inning. Stripling gave up four hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"I was able to get off to a good start, going through the lineup once in less than 30 pitches so I was in a good spot," said Stripling, who contributed offensively with a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. "Then I had a 33-pitch fourth, the two homers, and I was able to limit it to that. After that, you just try to get through that inning and settle back down. I was able to do that and gave us a chance to win, which is what I was trying to do when I went out there."

Muncy has proven a tough out.

"He doesn't expand the strike zone at all," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He just has such discipline and patience at the plate. I'm impressed. He fought his way through the ranks and is getting an opportunity and making the most of it."

Muncy, who played a total of 96 games for Oakland in 2015 and '16, has been subbing at third base for the injured Justin Turner, who has returned from his fractured wrist but still is experiencing soreness.

Forsythe hit a solo homer off Sean Newcomb (7-2) in a three-run third to give the Dodgers the lead. He hadn't allowed a home run in his previous 44 innings pitched.

Newcomb gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I wasn't making the pitches I was supposed to, and I was just kind of leaving them there for them to hit," Newcomb said. "It all happened really fast there whenever they scored their three runs."