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Yasiel Puig, Zack Greinke lead Dodgers past Atlanta Braves, 5-0

Yes, Yasiel Puig will have nights like that.

And nights like this.

One night after the Dodgers' rookie right-fielder came down to earth with an 0-for-4, two-strikeout performance, he headed back out to orbit by blasting a grand-slam home run in a 5-0 win over the Atlanta Braves Thursday.

BOX SCORE: Dodgers 5, Atlanta 0

Puig's blast, his third home run in four big-league games, was measured at 408 feet -- to the opposite (right) field.

A stadium camera man caught Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers dugout, mouth agape, hand covering the top of his head in an I-can't-believe-I-just-saw-what-I-just-saw expression.

He wasn't alone.

The homer came on the first pitch Puig saw from Braves relief pitcher Cory Gearrin.

And it overshadowed a sterling pitching performance by Zack Greinke, who would have been easily the player of the game except, well, that guy who has turned Dodgers baseball on its collective ear.

Greinke pitched a strong seven innings, giving up only four hits in what was by far his most impressive outing since returning from a broken left collarbone. In his three previous starts since coming off the disabled list, the right-hander had a 8.78 earned-run average.

Greinke worked hard for his success. He threw 117 pitches and had to work out of a jam in his final inning when Freddie Freeman led off with a single and moved to third on a single to right by Brian McCann with no outs.

The shutout was preserved when Greinke stuck out Dan Uggla, got Ramiro Pena on a line-out to left, and B.J. Upton on a fly ball to right. Pena’s liner was snagged by left fielder Scott Van Slyke, who made a quick, one-hop throw to the plate that turned back Freeman.

The hard-luck loser was Tim Hudson, who, like Greinke, allowed only four hits in seven innings. Unlike Greinke, Hudson cruised, using only 76 pitches.

Reliever Gearrin didn't experience anything close to that kind of success.

With one out, he gave up back-to-back singles to Skip Schumaker and Luis Cruz, then a walk to pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez.

Then came Puig, who wasted no time sending Dodger Stadium into a tizzy.

The Dodgers are now one game over .500.

Well, at home at least.

The Dodgers improved their home record to 17-16. They are 26-33 overall -- still last in the National League West.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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