The Dodgers saw the beginning of one career on the mound on Saturday night, and possibly one of the final chapters of another in their 6-4 loss to the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. Matt Magill exceeded all expectations in his major league debut on Saturday and left with a lead, but Matt Guerrier gave up a pair of two-run home runs to turn the tide for Milwaukee.
Magill was simply superb in his debut, as he allowed just two runs and pitched into the seventh inning. His 6⅔ innings were the most by a Dodgers pitcher in his major league debut since 33-year-old Japanese import Hiroki Kuroda went seven innings on Apr. 4, 2008, and the longest for a real rookie since Pedro Astacio threw a complete game shutout on Jul. 3, 1992.
Magill allowed just four hits and two walks on the night, and struck out seven, becoming just the ninth Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher with seven strikeouts in his major league debut. He retired the final seven batters he faced and 12 of the last 13. Magill left with a 3-2 lead and the bases empty with two outs in the seventh inning.
Paco Rodriguez relieved Magill and got Norichika Aoki to hit a slow ground ball to second base. Skip Schumaker, making the start at second in place of the injured Mark Ellis, fielded the ball on the run but threw into the dugout for an error to put Aoki into scoring position. Then again, anywhere on base would have been scoring position with what happened next.
Guerrier was brought in to face the right-handed batting Carlos Gomez, who crushed a two-run home run into the left field pavilion to give Milwuakee the lead. Martin Maldonado followed with a two-run home run in the eighth inning to widen the Brewers' advantage to 6-3.
Guerrier's ERA on the season is 6.48, and opposing batters are hitting .250/.371/.500 against him this season. To make matters worse, he has only struck out two of his 37 batters faced, but has six walks. Saturday marked just the fourth time in 10 appearances this season that Guerrier entered the game either tied or ahead by three runs or less.
Andre Ethier hit a solo home run in the eighth to pull the Dodgers within two runs. In the ninth, Nick Punto drew a walk in front of Adrian Gonzalez just as he did in the seventh inning Friday night but this time Gonzalez, representing the tying run, popped out to center field for the second out of the ninth.
Thanks to an error by Yuniesky Betancourt at third base on what would have been the game-ending ground out, the Dodgers put the tying runs on base in the ninth, and eventually in scoring position, but Jim Henderson closed it out for his sixth save of the season for Milwaukee.
Home runs: Andre Ethier (3); Carlos Gomez (3), Martin Maldonado (1)
WP - Wily Peralta (2-1): 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 (intentional) walk, 2 strikeouts
LP - Matt Guerrier (1-1): ⅔ IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk
Sv - Jim Henderson (6): 1 IP, 1 walk