Atlanta is closing in on a playoff spot and currently leads the National League Wild Card race by 8 ��� games ahead of St. Louis. It is 7 ��� games behind Philadelphia for the NL East lead and just won two of three meetings with Washington.
The Braves earned a series win with Thursday���s 5-2 decision and got home runs from Brian McCann and Chipper Jones. Alex Gonzalez drove in two runs for the Braves, who have won 11 of their last 15 games and got six innings of one-run ball from starter Tim Hudson. All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel added to his rookie saves record with No. 42, striking out three batters in the ninth inning.
"Very good outing," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Hudson. "We swung the bats and did just enough to get him some runs and some support early."
The Braves are 5-1 in Brandon Beachy's last six starts and hope to continue that winning trend when he takes the hill Friday night. Beachy is 4-0 with a 2.72 earned run average over that stretch and came out on top in an 8-3 victory over the Cubs last Thursday.
The well-rested Beachy is a solid 7-2 in 20 starts with a 3.31 ERA and sports a 3-1 mark in 10 outings at Turner Field this season. Beachy defeated the Dodgers the only time he faced them in a 10-1 drubbing on April 19 at Chavez Ravine, where he hurled six scoreless innings and struck out seven.
Los Angeles has won four in a row and recorded a 6-4 win Pittsburgh Thursday in a makeup game at PNC Park. The game was rained out on May 12.
Dodgers starter Dana Eveland was making his first start since June 7, 2010 when he was a member of the Pirates and gave up one run on six hits, while fanning three and walking none. Kenley Jansen relieved Blake Hawksworth after he had given up two runs in the ninth to earn his third save of the season.
"I've done it up here before, it's not my first time that I've won a game up here," Eveland said. "I didn't really have any nerves or anything, I just threw like it was another day on the mound. It doesn't matter where I am, I'm going to go out and do my thing."
Dee Gordon had a two-run double and Aaron Miles stroked a two-run single for the Dodgers, who have won nine of 10 games overall and opened an 11-game road trip on a positive note. LA will also visit the Nationals and Giants on the trek.
Chad Billingsley will handle pitching duties for Los Angeles tonight and he has just one win in his last four starts. He did not record a decision in Saturday's 7-6 win over Colorado and was reached for four runs -- three earned -- and 10 hits in six innings.
Billingsley, a right-hander, hasn't won since Aug. 5 and is 10-10 with a 4.08 earned run average in 27 starts this season. He is 5-6 in 14 road starts this season and 1-3 with a 3.35 ERA in eight career games (6 starts) against Atlanta.
The Dodgers won three of four games versus Atlanta at Chavez Ravine from April 18-21.