LOS ANGELES (AP) — A.J. Ellis hit an RBI single in the 11th inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and a split of their four-game series.
Pinch-hitter Russell Martin drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Chavez (0-0), advanced on Blake DeWitt's bunt and came home when Ellis stroked a 1-2 pitch to left field for his seventh RBI of the season.
Dodgers relievers Jonathan Broxton and Ronald Belisario ended the Braves' ninth and 10th innings with strikeouts — each stranding a runner at third. Belisario (1-0) pitched two innings of two-hit ball for the victory.
Braves starter Tim Hudson allowed four runs — three earned — and nine hits in seven-plus innings. The two-time All-Star was about to make his third pitch of the eighth inning to Matt Kemp when he was distracted by someone in the crowd who had an object that was reflecting the sun right into his eyes.
The game was held up about 5 minutes until stadium security could identify the fan in question, and Kemp singled on Hudson's next delivery. At that point, Eric O'Flaherty relieved. Kemp advanced to third on Garret Anderson's bunt and DeWitt's grounder, but Ellis was robbed of a bloop single on a diving catch by center fielder Melky Cabrera.
Dodgers rookie John Ely gave up four runs and nine hits over five innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. The right-hander had not allowed a home run in his first 50 innings in the big leagues before Martin Prado led off the fifth with his fifth of the season. Brian McCann homered three batters later after a walk to Jason Heyward to give Atlanta a 4-1 lead.
McCann's sixth home run landed in the second deck in the right-field corner. It made him only the 18th player to hit a fair ball into Dodger Stadium's loge level — including former Dodger Frank Howard's drive in the 1963 World Series clincher.
Ely's teammates got him off the hook their next time up, tying the score with Rafael Furcal's first homer of the season and James Loney's two-out, two-run single. One of the runs was unearned because of a fielding error by third baseman Omar Infante on Jamey Carroll's grounder, which preceded a double by Andre Ethier and Loney's clutch hit.
Heyward gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the third with a run-scoring single, his only RBI of the series.
The Dodgers tied it in the fourth with the help of a throwing error by first baseman Troy Glaus, who fielded Anderson's hard grounder and pulled shortstop Yunel Escobar off the bag trying to start an inning-ending double play. Anderson beat Escobar's relay back to first, and DeWitt singled home Loney with the bases loaded.
This was Bobby Cox's final game at Dodger Stadium as Atlanta's manager — unless the Braves meet Los Angeles in the playoffs. His regular-season record at Chavez Ravine was 71-66. The crowd of 37,944 gave Cox a warm ovation midway through the third inning, after public address announcer Eric Smith reminded them that Cox was retiring at the end of the season.
Cox and Joe Torre, who are fourth and fifth respectively on the career wins list, deviated from their normal routine and carried out the lineup cards themselves for the pregame huddle with umpires.
NOTES: Cox and Torre, both of whom are 69, entered this game with 69 wins each in their head-to-head regular-season meetings. The Dodgers will be in Atlanta for a four-game series beginning Aug. 13. ... The No. 3 manager on the career wins list, Tony La Russa, brings the St. Louis Cardinals into town Monday night to begin a three-game set. ... The Dodgers made Sunday a daylong celebration of the life of Jose Lima, who died on May 23 at age 37. When it was time for the national anthem, the Dodgers' Diamond Vision crew sprung from the archives a videotape of Lima singing the anthem on the field before a game — flanked by his wife and young son. Jose Lima Jr., now 11, threw out a ceremonial first pitch to fellow Dominican Manny Ramirez. His dad made a video curtain call in the seventh, singing "God Bless America." Lima had the only postseason victory by a Dodgers pitcher between 1998 and 2008. That was in 2004, his only season with the club.
(This version SUBS 6th graf to correct that Braves led 4-1, not 4-0)