Chris Capuano gave up just one run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings, but it wasn't… (Scott Cunningham / Getty…)
The Dodgers flirt with winning these days, bat their big eyelashes, tease it, get all comfy with it, and then watch it slip away.
They couldn't close the deal yet again today, their bullpen faltering in a 3-1 loss in Atlanta that wasted a masterful pitching performance by Chris Capuano.
Capuano turned in his finest outing of the season. He held the Braves scoreless through seven innings and left the game with a 1-0 lead after struggling B.J. Upton bounced a one-out single into left.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly called on right-hander Kenley Jansen to pitch out of the mini-jam, but he could not do it — couldn't come close, actually.
Jansen left a fastball over the plate and pinch-hitter Evan Gattis jumped on it for a two-run homer. Andrelton Simmons followed with a solo shot of his own, the Braves using back-to-back home runs to break the Dodgers’ hearts a day after Justin Upton had hit a grand slam to beat reliever Paco Rodriguez.
The Dodgers’ bullpen has now allowed 14 home runs in 39 appearances.
Capuano had outdueled Atlanta right-hander Kris Medlen, throwing strikes all night and holding the Braves to five singles (three by Chris Johnson). He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
Matt Kemp turned in sterling defensive play in the first inning, when he perfectly timed a leap at the wall to take a possible home run away from Jason Heyward, who tipped his helmet to Kemp in appreciation.
But the only offense the Dodgers could muster off Medlen came in the fourth after Adrian Gonzalez walked with one out. Skip Schumaker followed with a slicing double into the left-fielder corner.
Gonzalez, however, is not what you would consider fleet of foot. He was preparing to hold a third when left fielder Justin Upton bobbled the ball in the corner. As it rolled behind him, third base coach Tim Wallach waved Gonzalez home. He scored standing up.
Capuano looked like would take the rest until B.J. Upton singled with one out in the eighth. Jansen (1-2) has now give up four home runs 22 innings.
Medlen went seven outstanding innings for the Braves, holding the Dodgers to the one run on just two hits. He walked three and struck out five.