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Dodgers attempt to close out Braves and move on to NLCS

10:23 AM, Oct 7, 2013   |    comments
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers turn to righty Ricky Nolasco on Monday when they try to put the finishing touches on the Atlanta Braves and close out the National League Division Series in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles moved to the brink of the NLCS on Sunday, as Hanley Ramirez finished a home run shy of the cycle while knocking in two runs and scoring three times and the Dodgers used a pair of four-run frames in a 13-6 rout.

Carl Crawford clubbed a three-run homer and scored three times, Juan Uribe belted a two-run shot and scored twice, and Yasiel Puig collected three hits, two RBI and three runs scored for the Dodgers, who bounced back from Friday's 4-3 setback to take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five set.

LA's offensive outburst offset a shaky postseason debut from rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed four runs on six hits in just three innings of work.

Fellow left-hander Chris Capuano (1-0) came on in relief and kept Atlanta at bay, spinning three hitless innings to pick up the win.

"Cappy (Capuano) was the key to settling the game down," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Crawford's home run was huge for us. It's one win. It's over. We have a chance to close it out tomorrow night."

History appears to be on the side of the Dodgers, as teams that have taken a 2-1 lead into Game 4 of a Division Series have advanced to the League Championship Series round 35 times in 43 opportunities, 17 of 20 in the NLDS.

The Dodgers did most of their damage against Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (0-1), tagging the rookie right-hander for six runs on eight hits over 2 2/3 frames.

"I didn't have my best," Teheran admitted. "It was one of those games. I made a couple of mistakes that I had to pay for. I think I tried to do too much."

Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer and Chris Johnson drove in two runs for the Braves, who will rely on right-hander Freddy Garcia to save their season on Monday.

A September callup who nearly retired, Garcia carries some postseason experience into this start, having gone 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA in past performances for the Mariners, White Sox and Yankees.

"You start looking at the rotation and see how young they are and how inexperienced they are, then you look at Freddy Garcia's experience, you look at his postseason starts and postseason innings, so you give him an opportunity to do that," Gonzalez said. "I think he knows how to maneuver himself through a Major League lineup. He's shown that this year."

Overall with the Baltimore Orioles and Braves, Garcia was 4-7 this season with a 4.37 ERA. However, he did pitch to a 1.83 ERA once being inserted into the Braves' rotation.

Nolasco, meanwhile, was brilliant after being acquired from Miami and began his Dodgers career by going 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA over his first 12 starts. However, he struggled down the stretch, going 0-2 with an 11.77 ERA over his final five appearances.

"I feel like everything's been good," Nolasco said. "My mechanics, no matter the results my last couple starts or whatever it was, felt good, arm's felt good. Just a couple things here and there, so I'll be fine and ready to go."

Atlanta won five of its seven regular-season matchups with the Dodgers this season. However, these teams haven't met in the postseason since the Braves swept the NLDS back in 1996.

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