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Dodgers rally against Kenley Jansen, beat the Braves in extra innings

ATLANTA – Sitting at his locker Sunday afternoon, Kenley Jansen called it more of a “family reunion” than a rivalry when his current team and his former team meet.

The sack races would be pretty intense.

Down to their last strike against Jansen in the ninth inning, the Dodgers rallied to tie the game and took a lead on Freddie Freeman’s RBI double in the top of the 10th — only to have Craig Kimbrel also blow a save against his former team.

The Dodgers overcame their true nemesis — extra innings — by scoring twice in the 11th and holding on for a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves Sunday night.

The win was the Dodgers’ first in six extra-inning games this season and only their seventh in 25 over the past two seasons.

But it did allow them to take the season series against the reigning World Series champions, 4-2. This weekend series in Atlanta, fueled by Freeman’s emotional return, played out in front of sellout crowds with playoff atmosphere. Things might best be settled with the real thing in October where a fourth postseason meeting in the past five could be tastier than anything you might make with pumpkin spice at that time of year.

Tony Gonsolin and Spencer Strider staged a new-age pitcher’s duel — one that lasted six innings Sunday.

Strider – a rookie right-hander with a mustache straight out of the ‘80s and a fastball that reaches 100 – held the Dodgers scoreless for six innings, striking out seven.

The Braves broke up the parade of zeroes in the sixth. Gonsolin gave up a leadoff double to Travis d’Arnaud. But he got a favorable call to strike out Matt Olson then got Austin Riley to ground out.

An out away from keeping the scoreless tie intact, Gonsolin fell behind 2-and-1 to Marcell Ozuna who then slapped a single into center field to score d’Arnaud. The same combination came through for the Braves in Saturday’s win.

The Braves added a run in the seventh after the Dodgers stranded two more on base in the top of the inning when Trea Turner struck out.

The Dodgers were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position to that point and Jansen struck out Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger to start the bottom of the ninth. But Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor singled to put the tying runs on with two outs.

Down in the count 1-and-2, Thompson sent a liner towards the right side. Olson jumped and reached for it but the ball went off his glove and into right field for a game-tying two-run single.

Reyes Moronta kept it tied with the second of his two scoreless innings in relief and Freeman cashed in the first free runner with his double in the top of the 10th.

The lead disappeared when Olson stroked an RBI single off the second pitch Kimbrel threw in the bottom of the 10th. But Chris Taylor’s double off the glove of third baseman Austin Riley and an RBI single by Trea Turner put the Dodgers back on top in the 11th.

This time, Brusdar Graterol sent everyone home with an uneventful bottom of the inning.

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