Adrian Gonzalez smoked a two-run double off the glove of center fielder Carlos Gomez in the seventh inning to lead the Dodgers to a 7-5 win over the Brewers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. The win was the second straight for the Dodgers and fourth win in their last five games, and evened their record at .500 (11-11) on the season.
With the Brewers ahead 4-3 with two outs and a runner on base in the seventh inning, southpaw Michael Gonzalez walked Nick Punto on four pitches before allowing the game-changing double by Gonzalez, who leads the Dodgers hitting .363 this season and tops the club with 17 RBI in 22 games.
The Dodgers added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning, which helped Brandon League survive seeing the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the frame in the form of Ryan Braun.
Norichika Aoki opened the game with a leadoff walk against Beckett, and with one out he was running when Braun flied to right field. As Andre Ethier was about to make the catch for the second out of the inning, shortstop Justin Sellers and second baseman Mark Ellis tricked Aoki into thinking a throw was coming to second base, a fake-out reminiscent of Chuck Knoblauch fooling Lonnie Smith in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. As Aoki was trying to figure out just where the ball was, he was easily thrown out at first base for a double play to end the inning.
Carl Crawford led off the first inning with a shot to the warning track in left center field, caught at the wall by Carlos Gomez. But in the third inning Crawford hit one roughly the same distance, only this time to right center field and over the wall to extend the Dodgers' lead to 2-0.
Beckett didn't allow a hit until two outs in the fifth inning, when Braun drove a 3-1 fastball into the right field pavilion for a solo home run to cut the Dodgers' lead to 2-1. Beckett followed by allowing a single to Jonathan Lucroy and a walk to Rickie Weeks, but Gomez followed with a ground ball to shortstop to end the threat.
Beckett allowed another home run in the fifth inning, this time a leadoff job to Yuniesky Betancourt, another solo shot to tie the game at 2-2. Just like after the Braun home run, the next batter singled, then Alex Gonzalez was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Jean Segura delivered a two-out single to right field to give the Brewers their first lead of the game, at 3-2.
On batter after Mark Ellis got hurt in the fifth inning, Gonzalez tied the game with an RBI double. But Beckett couldn't get out of the sixth inning. He left with two runners on base and one out, but Matt Guerrier ended the threat by inducing Betancourt into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, which included a nice turn at second base under heavy pressure by Punto, who was just inserted into the game.
Guerrier allowed a leadoff single to Alex Gonzalez in the seventh inning, then was replaced by Paco Rodriguez. After Gonzalez was sacrificed to second base, Aoki singled to center field to give the Brewers a 4-3 lead, just the second hit in 15 at-bats by left-handed batters against Rodriguez this season.
To make matters worse, Matt Kemp let the ball get by him in center field for a two-base error, putting Aoki on third base with just one out. But that potential insurance run was wiped out when Segura missed a bunt on a squeeze play and Aoki was hung out to dry between third and home. Then, one pitch after Ronald Belisario buzzed him with a 95 mph fastball near his head, Segura struck out looking to end the inning.
- Beckett's eight home runs allowed are second most in MLB to Brett Myers, who has allowed 10 for the Indians.
- Belisario recorded five outs in the seventh and eighth innings, including three by strikeout, to earn his second win of the season. The only two runners to reach base against Belisario - tonight, and in his last three outings - came on a pair of fielding errors by Jerry Hairston.
- Luis Cruz had a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning to snap an 0-for-12 skid, and is now hitting .106 (5-for-47) on the season.
- Catcher A.J. Ellis went 0-for-4 on the night, but also didn't walk, snapping a career-long streak of five straight games with a base on balls.
Home runs: Carl Crawford (2); Ryan Braun (7), Yuniesky Betancourt (4)
WP - Ronald Belisario (2-2): 1⅔ IP, 3 strikeouts
LP - Michael Gonzalez (0-2): ⅔ IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 2 walks
Sv - Brandon League (7): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 strikeout