After four meetings this season featuring exactly three runs, the Dodgers and Brewers upped their offensive game on Wednesday night and combined for four runs. Unfortunately, Milwaukee scored three of those runs and beat the Dodgers for a third straight night, 3-1.
The Dodgers have scored two runs in the first three games of this series, and have scored six runs in five games against the Brewers this season.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched into jams in the first and third innings, and both times was bailed out by shortstop Justin Sellers. With two runners on in the first inning, Prince Fielder grounded a ball into the hole that Sellers grabbed then threw across his body on the run to second base, where Aaron Miles did the same on his throw to first base, completing a nifty double play. In the third inning, Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out and Ryan Braun lined a ball ticketed for center field, but Sellers made a diving stab for one out and an easy flip to Miles at second to complete another twin killing.
In the sixth inning Eovaldi got into another jam, loading the bases with one out in a scoreless game, and it looked like his night was over. But manager Don Mattingly stuck with the rookie, who nearly escaped without any damage. Eovaldi got Yuniesky Betancourt to pop out to short center field on a slider for the second out of the inning, then had a 1-2 count on Jerry Hairston Jr. However, Hairston grounded a single up the middle on the sixth pitch of the at-bat to score a pair of runs, giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Tony Gwynn Jr. hit his first home run as a Dodger, a no-doubter solo shot of Zack Greinke in the top of the seventh for the Dodgers' only run of the night. Gwynn had three hits for the second time in five games.
Josh Lindblom pitched the seventh inning in relief of Eovaldi, and for a good stretch must have thought home plate was 59 or so feet away rather than the regulation 60 feet, six inches. With catcher Jonathan Lucroy on first base, Lindblom peppered the dirt in and around home plate on several pitches, including two that got away from Dioner Navarro, who took a page out of the Roger Dorn school of fielding. Lucroy advanced from first to third base on one wild pitch as Navarro didn't know where the ball was at first, then Lucroy scored on the second wild pitch of the inning.
John Axford faced four Dodgers in the ninth inning, and none of them put the ball into play. One walk and three strikeouts equated to the 36th save of the season for Axford.
Casey Blake left the game in the middle of the sixth inning with pain in the back of his right shoulder, and is day-to-day. Jamey Carroll replaced Blake and played second, while Miles moved to third base.
- The four-out appearance for Lindblom was just his second game in the last 10 days.
- Greinke is 9-0 at home this season with a 3.15 ERA, and the Brewers have won all 11 of his starts at Miller Park.
Clayton Kershaw tries to prevent a sweep on getaway day Thursday morning, against Marco Estrada.
WP - Zack Greinke (12-4): 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Nathan Eovaldi (1-1): 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Sv - John Axford (36): 1 IP, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts