Justin Upton's sixth inning grand slam gave the Atlanta Braves the… (John Bazemore / Associated…)
And there things were going so well.
The Dodgers opened their six-game road trip Friday in Atlanta, survived a middling start by Hyun-Jin Ryu to jump out to a 4-2 lead after five innings.
Then after a little bloop single and a fielding error by third baseman Luis Cruz, the call went to Dodgers left-hander Paco Rodriguez, who had not allowed a run in his last seven appearances.
BOX SCORE: Atlanta 8, Dodgers 5
But after a walk to Jason Heyward, Rodriguez surrendered a grand slam to Justin Upton and the Braves went on to an 8-5 victory at Turner Field.
Rodriguez, who was pitching in college at this time a year ago, had been brilliant of late. In his last 7 2/3 innings, he had not allowed a run, giving up only one hit and one walk, while striking out 12.
But Upton’s 14th home run of the season was one of those no-doubt-about-it jobs. It was the first home run Rodriquez has allowed in his two seasons (31 games).
Ryu struggled with his command all night, walking an uncharacteristic five batters in his five innings. He threw 100 pitches, only 56 for strikes.
But Ryu, as they say, battled. He tap danced through five innings, getting enough big outs to leave in position to pick up the win.
The Dodgers scored their first four runs with one in the first (A.J. Ellis doubled, scored on a Dee Gordon groundout), two in the fourth (Ellis walk, RBI singles by Ryu and Carl Crawford) and one in the sixth (Scott Van Slyke homer).
Then came the bloop hit by pinch-hitter Jordan Schafer and the Cruz error on a liner from Andrelton Simmons against Matt Guerrier, and the call to Rodriquez.
Van Slyke added a second solo home run in the eighth -- he how has three in 13 plate appearances, tying him for third on the club -- but otherwise the Dodgers went quietly.
A nice beginning they could not sustain, with a little rain at the end to make it feel fitting.