It was a head-scratching night for Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Matt Kemp left tonight's game at Dodger Stadium after the first inning after re-aggravating his left hamstring while running the bases, and the mood rarely brightened at Chavez Ravine as the Brewers defeated the Dodgers 6-3, giving Los Angeles their first three-game losing streak of the season.
The Dodgers opened the scoring with a two-out rally in the top of the first when Kemp drew a four-pitch walk then came home to score on Andre Ethier's double to left-center field. Two walks loaded the bases, but Yovani Gallardo escaped further damage when A.J. Ellis drove a full-count pitch on a line to center fielder Carlos Gomez for the third out.
However that run came at the cost of Kemp coming out of the game and the Dodgers awaiting his MRI test tomorrow. According to a tweet by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, "Kemp says his hammy feels worse than the first time and [he] anticipates another DL stint."
Milwaukee did not let a similar opportunity go uncapitalized in the top of the fourth inning when Gomez grounded a single into left field to plate two runners after Clayton Kershaw, who struggled at various times tonight, loaded the bases with walks to Rickie Weeks (hitting .153/.286/.288 entering play) and noted Kershaw nemesis Cody Ransom (.200/.294/.267) following a one-out double by Aramis Ramirez. Kershaw escaped further damage by retiring Martin Maldonado on a shallow fly and striking out Gallardo with his 32nd pitch of the inning.
The Brewers ended Kershaw's night in the sixth inning after 117 pitches. Weeks led off the inning with a double. After a walk and a force at second on a sacrifice attempt, Maldonado squeezed home a run and Gallardo drove a Kershaw fastball off the bullpen gate in left field for an RBI single. Reliever Javy Guerra allowed the inherited runner to score on a pop fly single to center that appeared to glance off a sliding Tony Gwynn, Jr's glove and a grounder to second base that Norichiki Aoki simply beat out for another RBI single.
Elian Herrera's bases-loaded single off Manny Parra, immediately after Gallarado was chased by three consecutive singles to start the seventh inning, scored two runs to cut the deficit in half. At this point in the game, Don Mattingly was faced with this choice: allow James Loney and Gwynn to bat against the left-handed Parra, or go to right-handed pinch-hitters such as Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Scott Van Slyke, which would likely lead to an already warmed up right-handed reliever coming in. Mattingly went with the status quo only to have Loney strike out on three pitches and Gwynn ground into the inning-ending double play, one of four that the Dodgers would hit into on the night.
Milwaukee added an insurance run in the eighth when it appeared that Aramis Ramirez hit into a routine double play to end the inning, but Herrera could not get a grip on the ball as the middle man to make a throw to first base, allowing the sixth run to score.
Home Runs - None
WP - Yovani Gallardo (4-4): 6 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP -(4-3): 5 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
S - John Axford (10)
Attendance - 25,509