The Brewers had leads in all four games of their trip to LA, but could only win one of them. And in Thursday's game, they gave up two 3 run leads before scoring two on a homer in the 9th for the win.
Today, a first inning solo homerun by Scooter Gennett held up until one out in the bottom of the eighth, when pinch hitter Kike Hernandez drove a 2-1 fastball from Will Smith deep into the leftfield seats to tie things up at one.
The Dodgers won in the bottom of the ninth off of Tyler Thornburg. A one out hit by Adrian Gonzalez was followed by a single from Trayce Thompson. Joc Pederson struck out looking, and Martin Maldanado’s pick-off attempt at second skipped in and hit pinch runner Scott Van Slyke; if Jonathon Villar could have caught the throw Van Slyke would most likely have been out. Thornburg then walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases and pinch hitter Yasmani Grandal to force in the winning run.
Matt Garza pitched well in his second start returning from injury, and the Brewers’ defense contributed some very big plays. Garza worked six innings, allowing 5 hits and no walks. The Dodgers made the final outs in the first and third innings on the bases; in the first Chase Utley was thrown out at home by Ryan Braun after a short flyball to left. Utley took off for home after Corey Seager was 2/3 of the way to third on the pop fly - the Brewers had an easy double play at second to end the inning, too. In the third, Dodgers’ starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was thrown out at third by rightfielder Ramon Flores on a single by Seager.
The third inning also was highlighted by a fine catch in deep left center by Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a drive by Utley, and a classic misadventure on a throw to first by Garza on a come-backer by Maeda. Garza tried to bare-hand the ball and knocked it down, then grabbed it and turned to throw to first. The overhand throw made it about a third of the way there and rolled to Chris Carter about 10 feet off of first. To Garza’s credit, these plays don’t seem to bother him. In fact, Garza actually made a throw to first with Kendrick on after a one out single in the fifth.
Unlike the 3-2 loss Friday night the Brewers didn’t really have many opportunities to pad their early lead. Former Japanese League star Maeda allowed only 4 hits through the first 6 innings, and when he gave up two hits around a popout in the seventh the Dodgers went to their pen. Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen got the last 8 outs without a baserunner. Maeda walked 3 and fanned 8.
After an off day Monday the Brewers will be back in the Bay area, this time to face the A’s in a two game set. Tuesday night’s contest has Jimmy Nelson (5-6, 3.92) trying to regain his early season form against Sonny Gray of the A’s (3-6, 5.54) who has had struggles of his own.