WP: Zach Davies (15-7); LP: Josh Ravin (0-1); Save: Corey Knebel (28); Homeruns: Mil - Orlando Arcia (13)
Winning gets easier when the opposition doesn’t score, even when your own offense is still struggling. Zach Davies went seven strong innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out seven. The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t lose much at home (well, they don’t lose much anywhere) - tonight’s setback leaves them at 52-15 at home. Anthony Swarzak had a scoreless eighth, allowing a hit but fanning the side, while Corey Knebel earned his 28th save despite a lead-off error in the bottom of the ninth by Travis Shaw. Knebel struck out two, so Brewer pitchers struck out twelve tonight. Of course, Dodger pitchers struck out more - fourteen, to be exact.
But the Brewers generated enough offense on this night for the win. Dodger spot starter Ross Stripling worked three scoreless innings with just one hit and one walk allowed, while K’ing five. He was replaced by Edward Paredes for a scoreless fourth (two whiffs), and then Josh Ravin, who allowed a single to Manny Pina and a two run homerun to El Nino, Orlando Arcia. Ravin did strike out two in his lone inning.
Milwaukee added a Badger Mutual Insurance Run in the top of the eighth. Luis Avilan, in his second inning of work, allowed a single to Hernan Perez and an RBI double to Neil Walker. Walker continues to contribute to the Brewers’ push for the play-offs.
Davies used 94 pitches for his seven innings, and his fifteenth win leaves him within striking distance of a twenty win season with six or seven starts remaining. Zach’s ERA in now south of 4, resting at 3.91. That’s a nice recovery after hovering around five for most of the first half.
The Brewers move to 67-63, but remain three back of the Cubs. Chicago edged the Phillies in Philadelphia today 17-2. The Rockies and D’Backs both won as well, so Milwaukee is back 3½ in the Wild Card race.
Los Angeles sends out rental starter Yu Darvish tomorrow afternoon as the Brewers look for an improbable series win and a winning road swing out west. Darvish sits at 8-9, 3.83. Jimmy Nelson looks to regain his touch after a few poor outings; Jimmy is at 9-6, 3.79. Rumor has it that the ball travels better in the daytime at Chavez Ravine. A six homer outburst from the Brewers would be nice. Especially if the Dodgers decide to let their bats slumber for one more day.