After a throwing error by A.J. Ellis put Nyjer Morgan on third base with one out, manager Don Mattingly employed a five-man infield and walked Rickie Weeks. But Mattingly had all five infielders - Jerry Hairston Jr. moved from left field - play in rather than at double play depth. They were clearly only trying for the out at home, which was made clear after Weeks easily took second base without a throw.
After George Kotarras was walked, unintentionally as Matt Guerrier was simply wild, that brought Ryan Braun up with the bases loaded and just one out. In a situation that looked bleak for the Dodgers, they actually got pretty much the best thing they could have hoped for as Braun popped up to shallow center field.
Matt Kemp made the catch, but threw flat footed toward home. Ellis waited to receive the ball behind home plate then reached to tag Morgan, and even though replays appeared to show Morgan was tagged before he touched the plate, Morgan was called safe to end the game.
"Having the luxury of seeing the replay, obviously we should still be playing," Mattingly said after the game, per Prime Ticket. "I guess it's another argument for instant replay."
Further replays showed Morgan run through a stop sign by going home on the fly ball, which meant just about everyone involved in the final play was subpar. Braun would have liked to hit a ball deeper than that, Morgan run when he wasn't supposed to, Kemp should have made a better throw, and Ellis should have not waited so long to receive the ball. To top it off, home plate umpire Mike DiMuro appeared to have made the wrong call.
But we move on. The Dodgers fall to 9-3, including 1-1 in extra innings and 5-2 in one-run games.
Aramis Ramirez entered the game with four hits in 39 at-bats, but went 2-for-4 on the night, including a game-tying solo home run crushed to center field to lead off the sixth inning. Ramirez might have had a double to leadoff the second inning but an alert Tony Gwynn Jr. got to his grounder down the left field line and made a perfect throw to second base to nail Ramirez.
The Dodgers tried to rally for the second straight day off Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the eighth inning. Dee Gordon singled with two outs, then successfully stole second base for the ninth time this season (he has been called safe eight times). Mark Ellis then walked, opening the door for Matt Kemp, who drove in the Dodgers' first run with a single in the first inning. Kemp took four straight pitches from K-Rod before waving at a fastball on the outside corner to the inning.
Chris Capuano keeps progressing, and allowed just two runs in his six innings in the longest of his three starts as a Dodger. He struck out two and walked four, and was followed by Josh Lindblom, who pitched two more scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings.
Aaron Harang gets the start for the Dodgers on Thursday morning — that's right, a 10:10 a.m. PDT start — in Milwaukee in the series finale, facing old friend Randy Wolf as the Brewers go for the sweep.
Home Runs: Aramis Ramirez (1)
WP - Kameron Loe (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit
LP - Matt Guerrier (0-1): 2/3 IP, 1 run, 3 walks