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By Jon Weisman
The Dodgers wished upon their non-star, and Mike Bolsinger came through.
Beginning with his nine-pitch first inning, the undersung Bolsinger was at the top of his game for seven innings and 98 pitches, allowing only three hits and an unearned run in the Dodgers’ 3-1 daytime victory at Atlanta.
The 27-year-old righty faced four batters over the minimum and didn’t allow a hit after Andrelton Simmons’ bloop single to start the bottom of the third. Following Jimmy Rollins’ error on the next batter, Bolsinger retired 14 in a row until a two-out, seventh-inning walk to A.J. Pierzynski.
Though two of his recent starts were cut short by oysters and lightning, Bolsinger is back on a bit of a roll. In six starts since June 24, Bolsinger has a 2.64 ERA in 30 2/3 innings, allowing 35 baserunners while striking out 26.
The missing ingredient has been length, but Bolsinger provided that today in his longest outing since June 8.
Overall, in 84 innings this season, Bolsinger has a 2.79 ERA — and it’s pretty legit, evidenced by a 2.78 FIP, and 3.29 xFIP, as noted by Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest.
Second baseman Howie Kendrick backed up Bolsinger with multiple dazzling defensive plays. And though Rollins’ error helped the Braves take a 1-0 lead, he later came back with an RBI double — breaking an 0-for-16 (two walks) slump since the All-Star Break — that broke a 1-1 tie.
Rollins’ hit was sandwiched by RBI singles by Alberto Callaspo (who added a huge diving stop in the ninth inning, behind closer Kenley Jansen) and Joc Pederson. Yasmani Grandal scored the Dodgers’ first run and reached base in his first three at-bats with a single, double and walk.