The Braves score one off Clayton Kershaw in the fourth

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The Braves got on the board against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning, but they were unable to make it a big inning.

Freddie Freeman reached on a one-out single to right field before Evan Gattis worked out a walk. The next batter Brian McCann came very close to a three-run homer, but Carl Crawford was able to catch up to it at the warning track in left field. Chris Johnson then singled to center field to drive in the first run of the game for the Braves, but Kershaw was able to strike out Andrelton Simmons swinging to end the threat and stand runners at first and third. Wasting opportunities against Kershaw is not a recipe for success.

Kershaw hasn’t been on his A-game so far, as he has already thrown 77 pitches over four innings, but the Dodgers still have themselves a comfortable 5-1 lead as we head to the fifth.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.