Ken Landreaux hit a two-run homer and second baseman Steve Sax ended the game with a spectacular fielding play as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Braves, 5-3, in Atlanta.
Bob Welch (10-11) received help from Steve Howe, who worked the final 2 2/3 innings for his 13th save. Pascual Perez (13-4) was the loser.
With one out in the ninth, Glenn Hubbard reached on error by third baseman Pedro Guerrero. Bruce Benedict hit a fly to shallow right that Sax caught over his shoulder, running full speed with his back to the plate. He turned around and threw to first for a game-ending double play.
The Dodgers, moving within 5 1/2 games behind the West Division-leading Braves, opened the first with three straight hits. Sax opened with a single and scored on a double by Rick Monday, who scored on a single by Dusty Baker.
"It's very important to come in here and gain ground," Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said.
"The pressure's still on Los Angeles," Atlanta's Bob Horner said. "They've still got to come and get us."
The game was halted briefly twice--first to require Welch to remove a bandage on his finger in the third inning and again at the start of the fourth when Perez was ordered to wear a turtleneck to prevent several necklaces he wears from flopping around when he pitched.