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Dodgers' search for offense continues in 10-1 loss to Braves

April 20, 2011 |  6:18 am

Sometimes the runs seem right there for the Dodgers, so maddeningly close. And yet a planet away.

The Dodgers' struggling offense returned Tuesday, scoring once again nearly the stuff of rumor.

The Dodgers were downed 10-1 by Atlanta, Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy winning his first game in seven career starts.

The Dodgers' lone run was driven in by rookie Jerry Sands, though on a groundout in the seventh.

By then, the Dodgers were down 2-0, right-hander Hiroki Kuorda having breezed through five innings but then giving up a solo home run to Martin Prado in the sixth and another to Freddie Freeman in the seventh.

The Dodgers finally scratched together a run in the bottom of the seventh after Juan Uribe singled off the glove of reliever Scott Linebrink. James Loney’s base hit sent Uribe to third.

That brought up Sands, appearing in just his second major-league game. Sands hit the ball hard down the third base line, but Chipper Jones -- who turns 39 next week -- made a nice diving stop. He threw out Sands, but Uribe scored.

The Dodgers loaded the bases after a single by A.J. Ellis and a walk to Jamey Carroll, but Casey Blake grounded out. The Dodgers are now zero for eight with the bases loaded.

None of it seemed to matter when the Dodgers' bullpen fell apart in the ninth.

The Braves made it a late blowout by adding eight more runs in the inning, five charged to reliever Kenley Jansen. The right-hander walked two and gave up three hits, including a two-run homer to Eric Hinske. Ramon Troncoso fared no better, immediately giving up a three-run homer to Dan Uggla and two more run-scoring singles.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (17) watches as Atlanta Braves center fielder Nate McLouth (13) greets first baseman Eric Hinske (20) after a 2 run home run in the 9th inning at Dodger Stadium April 19, 2011. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire