ATLANTA — Jarrod Saltalamacchia found a way to cap his charmed first week in the major leagues.
Called up on his 22nd birthday Wednesday, Saltalamacchia made his second start Sunday, had his first hit and then drove in the go-ahead run with his first RBI to help the Atlanta Braves rally for a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With two outs, two runners on base and the game tied at 4 in the seventh inning, Saltalamacchia came to the plate in what looked to be a pressure situation.
Instead, the rookie catcher said ‘‘That was the most calm I’ve ever felt.’’
One reason: Saltalamacchia was facing Dodgers reliever Chad Billingsley, an old friend from south Florida.
Saltalamacchia, from West Palm Beach, said he often caught Billingsley, who lives in Vero Beach, in youth baseball.
‘‘I caught Chad growing up... Junior Olympics, 18-and-under, summer leagues, stuff like that,’’ Saltalamacchia said, adding the two played together for three years.
‘‘I knew he had a hard fastball and good stuff, so I was sitting on a fastball. I knew he wanted to throw it past me.’’
Saltalamacchia hit a fastball to right field for a single to drive in Edgar Renteria, giving the rookie a highlight to top his first hit in the sixth.
The Dodgers had been 15-0 when leading after six innings, but Chin-hui Tsao gave up five runs in the seventh as the Braves sent 10 batters to the plate.
Tsao had given up only one hit and no runs in 10 2-3 innings before being charged with three hits, two walks and five runs.
‘‘I guess we all get spoiled,’’ Dodgers manager Grady Little said. ‘‘It’s been lights out with that bullpen. ... (Tsao) made a couple of mislocated pitches.’’
Renteria’s two-run double off Tsao (0-1) cut it to 4-3. The right-hander got Jeff Francoeur to foul out before Andruw Jones walked to put runners on first and second.
Tsao then looked like he might get out of the inning when he recorded a big strikeout of pinch-hitter Chipper Jones, who tried to check his swing, for the second out. Jones and manager Bobby Cox were ejected from the game while arguing the ruling by third base umpire Bob Davidson.
‘‘Bob Davidson feels like all these thousands of people who come to the park come to see him,’’ Jones said. ‘‘That’s the way he always has been. It’s a joke among us players.
‘‘But the fact of the matter is we overcame bad officiating by the third base umpire and the home plate umpire (Sam Holbrook) and we still won. So I’m proud of our guys.’’
Pinch-hitter Scott Thorman tied it with a single to right to drive in Renteria and knock Tsao out of the game.
Saltalamacchia and Chris Woodward added run-scoring singles off Billingsley.
‘‘We made a nice comeback against one of the top bullpens,’’ Cox said.
Saltalamacchia was 2-for-4 and threw out two baserunners. He was called up when Atlanta’s backup, Brayan Pena, was placed on the disabled list with a concussion and 2006 All-Star Brian McCann was slowed by a sore finger.
Cox, Chipper ejected following strikeout
Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is accustomed to being thrown out of games by umpires. Having Chipper Jones tossed in the same argument is a little different. Both were ejected Sunday by third base umpire Bob Davidson, who ruled Jones swung for strike three in a key seventh-inning pinch-hit appearance. Jones tried to check his swing.
TV replays indicated Jones held his bat back as his body turned toward the mound.
Jones began to argue the call before Cox charged out of the dugout.
Cox earned the immediate ejection for arguing a call on balls and strikes; Jones’ ejection soon followed.
‘‘I only said something because he was itching to throw Bobby out,’’ Jones said. ‘‘The second Bobby stepped out of the dugout, he was gunning to throw him out.
‘‘Bob Davidson feels like all these thousands of people who come to the park come to see him. “That’s the way he always has been. It’s a joke among us players.
Jones: ‘‘But the fact of the matter is we overcame bad officiating by the third base umpire and the home plate umpire (Sam Holbrook) and we still won. So I’m proud of our guys.’’
Cox, puffing on his usual postgame cigar, had little more to say on the play.
‘‘He didn’t swing,’’ Cox said.
The ejection was the 128th of Cox’s career and the third of the season.
FIRST SAVE: Mike Gonzalez successfully converted his first save opportunity.
The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Dodgers left fielder Luis Gonzalez before recording three straight outs for the save.
Mike Gonzalez and right-hander Rafael Soriano are expected to share the closing role while Bob Wickman is on the 15-day disabled list with upper back tendinitis.
Gonzalez, who was 24-for-24 on save opportunities last season for Pittsburgh, said he enjoyed being back in a save situation.
‘‘It was definitely a good feeling,’’ Gonzalez said. ‘‘Going out there for the ninth, you feel right at home.’’
Gonzalez said sharing save situations with Soriano ‘‘is a great luxury that Bobby has. I don’t mind that, either.’’
WORTH NOTING: The Braves still have not announced their starting pitcher for Tuesday night’s game against San Diego. Reliever Oscar Villarreal did not pitch this weekend, making him a strong candidate.