The Dodgers looked to be cruising to an easy win in Miller Park tonight until some shoddy defense in the bottom of the eighth aided and abetted a Brewer comeback - and then some good defense thwarted it.
Trailing 6-2, the Brewers got a lead off hit by Aaron Hill off of reliever Pedro Baez. Ryan Braun hit a slow roller to short that Casey Seager bobbled, then threw into the camera well. With runners at second and third Jonathon Lucroy doubled down the third base line, closing the score to 6-4.
Joe Blanton relieved, and his first pitch to Chris Carter was driven to the deepest cranny in the ballpark, the triple corner in left center. Joc Peterson made a great running catch but slammed into the wall and went down in a heap, flipping the ball to left fielder Trayce Thompson as he went down. Lucroy alertly tagged and came all the way from second to make it 6-5. Just your garden variety sac fly with the runner on second for Carter...Yuni would be proud. Peterson left the game injured, with Yasiel Puig entering the fray.
Hernan Perez and pinch hitter Scooter Gennett sandwiched walks around (new Brewer) Jake Elmore’s strikeout, bringing up Ramon Flores. Perez took off to steal third and catcher Yasmani Grandal had the pitch hit off his shin guard and carom towards the Brewer dugout. Perez kept going around third but Grandal’s throw to Blanton nipped Hernan at home.
The Brewers went 1-2-3 against Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth, and ended with their fourth straight loss to LA.
The early innings belonged to the Dodgers and rookie pitcher Julio Urias. Urias went six innings and allowed only two hits and two runs in earning his first major league win. He walked 6 and struck out 6. Two of the walks came around to score on a third inning double by Braun, the Brewers first hit. Lucroy doubled in the sixth but was stranded at third.
The Dodgers battered Chase Anderson for all 6 of their runs in 4+ innings, collecting 8 hits and drawing 2 walks. Anderson had three up, three down innings in the first and third, so in the second, fourth, and fifth he allowed all of the damage. He allowed Urias’ first major league hit, a two out RBI grounder up the middle to plate their fifth run. Adrian Gonzalez was 3 for 3 with a hit by pitch and an intentional walk, scoring twice and driving in one. Gonzalez is now hitting .420 at Miller Park.
In five innings of relief, four Brewer relievers (Carlos Torres, Blaine Boyer, Jhan Marinez, and Jacob Barnes) shut out the Dodgers on 4 hits with 3 walks and a hit batter, while striking out 7.
Three of the Brewers 4 hits were doubles, with two by Lucroy. They drew 8 walks and struck out 9 times, ‘led’ by Jonathan Villar and his nice, new golden sombrero. Villar appeared to hurt his hand or wrist on a play at second in the second inning when Lucroy’s throw on a steal attempt by Thompson took Villar directly into the runner for an error on Luc. Villar remained in the game but did not look good at the plate from then on. Villar was also picked off of first in the bottom of the first, only to have the call overturned on review. Urias promptly picked him off again, and no replay was needed on that one. It appeared (to me and BA) that it should have been a balk on Urias, as his foot crossed the line from the rubber to first, but wouldn’t you think that Villar would be a bit wary in that situation? Ah, well, hadn’t had a TOOTBLAN from him in a while.
The Dodgers had ample opportunity to put the Brewers away, but they left 11 baserunners from the fourth through the eighth. They left runners at third in four of those five innings.
Rookie Brock Stewart will make his major league debut on the hill in tomorrow night’s middle game for the Dodgers (43-36). The Brewers (34-42) send Junior Guerra (4-1, 3.57) out to stop another losing streak.