Kris Medlen could barely contain his enthusiasm Friday when the Braves pitcher discussed what Dodger Stadium meant to him, and how he used to come to games with sold-out crowds when he was a kid growing up in nearby Norwalk, a Los Angeles suburb.

He talked of how being back here always reminded him what a privilege it was to be a big-leaguer, and also about how excited he was about starting Saturday’s game, just his second start at Dodger Stadium and first since 2010.

Medlen channeled that energy into a superb all-around performance Saturday night, pitching 6-2/3 scoreless innings and hitting the first home run of his major league career to lead the Braves in a 2-1 win against the Dodgers. His home run ended up being the game-winning RBI.

“I mean, it couldn’t have been a better day for me today,” said Medlen, whose fifth-inning homer was his first since he hit one in Double-A in 2008. “Most importantly we got the win, which was awesome. But for me to hit my first home run here, Cloud 9. I mean, I’m kind of speechless. I’ve had dreams of doing that for the Dodgers as an infielder, but I’ll take it.”

Dan Uggla and Medlen homered in a three-batter span to start the fifth for a 2-0 lead, just enough offense for the Braves to bounce back with a win after wrenching losses in the first two games of the four-game series.

“That was cool,” Uggla said of Medlen’s performance. “He was really on his game tonight. He was making pitches, hitting home runs — that was fun to watch.”

It was the second win in their past in their past six road games for the first-place Braves, who’ve mustered three runs in 28 innings in the first three games of the series. They pushed the National League East lead back to 6-1/2 games over the Phillies and seven games over the Nationals, who’ve both lost two in a row.

“Med did a nice job — 6-2/3 innings of shutout baseball, hits a home run that kept us ahead,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I just found out when I came in here that it was his first career home run. Good timing on his part.

“We still haven’t swung the bats – we get nine hits or seven hits, but we still haven’t put a crooked number up in I don’t even know how long.”

Craig Kimbrel worked around a leadoff single and a wild pitch in the ninth to record his 18th save, striking out Mark Ellis for the final out with a runner at second base and Dodgers rookie phenom Yasiel Puig on deck.

“Leave him right there,” Gonzalez said of Puig, who had four homers in his first five games since being called up last week from Double-A, including a grand slam and a solo homer in the first two games against the Braves. “I didn’t want to face him. Any day you feel pretty good that Kimbrel can do the job, but I think everything’s going pretty good for (Puig) right now. (He got an) infield single there in the eighth inning…

“But anyway, game’s over. Enjoy it for a little while and then come right back tomorrow.”

The Braves send Mike Minor to the mound when they go for a series split Sunday afternoon.

The Dodgers had the sold-out crowd of 52,716 buzzing when they cut the lead to 2-1 with an unearned run in the eighth inning, after a throwing error by shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who has been uncharacteristically erratic of late. After an RBI single to pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez, reliever Jordan Walden got Scott Van Slyke on a pop-up to end the inning.

Medlen (3-6) allowed five hits and one walk with six strikeouts, and threw 81 strikes in 116 pitches. He also joined Minor and Tim Hudson to give the Braves three starting pitchers with a home run apiece this season. The only other team with more than two homers from pitchers is the Cubs, with four.
“He started listening to his hitting coach,” joked Hudson, referring to himself.

Uggla led off the fifth with his 11th homer, and two batters later Medlen’s first big-league homer landed in the front row of the right-field seats. He drew applause from Braves fans scattered around the packed stadium, including at least 15 Medlen friends and family in a stadium suite that his agent purchased for the event.