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LAD@MIL: Hernandez fans five over six in Dodger debut

After a strong Dodgers debut, Roberto Hernandez will take the mound Thursday at Turner Field hoping to help his team win their four-game series against the Braves at Turner Field.

Hernandez, acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 7, started the next day against Milwaukee and allowed only two first-inning runs on three hits over six strong innings. He took a no-decision in the loss.

"I was a little bit surprised [by the trade]," Hernandez said after the start. "I was a little bit nervous today. The first inning, I tried too much, but I forget about that. After that I kept the ball down, got ahead in the count."

Hernandez will face fellow righty Aaron Harang, who went seven strong innings in his last start, allowing only one run. Though he doesn't' have a decision in his past five starts, Harang has posted a 2.55 ERA in his past nine.

"I've gone out there and done what I need to do to give us a chance to win," he said. "We've just run into some bad luck and haven't been able to pull some of those out. That's part of baseball."

The Braves have lost 11 of their last 14 and sit five games behind the Nationals in the National League East, but Harang gave a level-headed response when asked about the team's outlook.

"There are still almost seven or eight weeks left in the season," Harang said. "You don't want to start pressing now because that is when you make things worse."

Dodgers: Mattingly makes sure not to wear out Gordon
Dee Gordon returned to the Dodgers' lineup on Wednesday after his second day out of the starting lineup in the previous six games. Manager Don Mattingly wants to be cautious with Gordon, who leads the Majors with 52 stolen bases. Mattingly sees the toll Gordon's style of play has taken on the second baseman.

"I'm trying to keep him at 170 pounds, basically," Mattingly said. "I don't want him getting worn down and trying to have to get back up the hill. I'd rather have him kind of stay there and stay strong."

Mattingly also voiced the desire to give Gordon mental breaks. Given his status as a basestealing threat, Gordon commands a lot of attention and has to remain on edge more than most other Major Leaguers on the basepaths.

Braves: Heyward on board with return to leadoff spot
On the way to winning the NL East last year, the Braves produced a 14-game winning streak that was aided by the decision to move Jason Heyward to the leadoff spot.

So in an attempt to rekindle some of last year's magic, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has opted to put Heyward back in the leadoff spot.

"[Heyward] might add a spark or some energy up there and get us going a little bit," Gonzalez said. "I talked to Jason about it yesterday afternoon and he was great. He's a pro. He'll do whatever it takes for us to win. He brings it every night."

Worth noting
• The Braves beat the Dodgers on Wednesday for the first time in six games this season.

• At 39-26, the Dodgers have the best road winning percentage in baseball (.600).

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