The loss was the second straight for the Dodgers, and their fourth loss in five games against the National League Central division leaders this season. The loss was the first for Clayton Kershaw since May 28, snapping an 11-game winning streak.
Kershaw didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, but Milwaukee bats rang loud in the inning. Carlos Gomez opened with a double to left, then two batters later Ryan Braun briefly quieted the boos with an opposite-field home run and a 2-0 Brewers lead.
The Dodgers countered with three straight singles against Yovani Gallardo in the bottom of the inning, cutting the lead to 2-1, but Justin Turner was caught trying to advance an extra base on a throw home, helping to thwart a potential big inning.
That was all Gallardo would allow in eight innings, shutting the Dodgers offense down, allowing just six hits and a walk.
Gomez greeted Kershaw in the sixth inning with a first-pitch bomb to the back of the Dodgers bullpen in left field, expanding Milwaukee's lead to 3-1. It marked the first time Kershaw has allowed two home runs in a start since Sept. 8, 2013 against Cincinnati. Kershaw allowed six home runs in his 22 starts in between.
Sept. 8 was also the last time the Dodgers lost back-to-back starts by Kershaw and Zack Greinke, before the Brewers won the first two games of this weekend series.
In "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" fashion, Kershaw outside of those two home runs had an efficient start. He needed just 97 pitches to complete nine innings, striking out 11 while walking none and allowing five total hits.
It was the major-league-leading sixth complete game this season for Kershaw, the first Dodgers pitcher with six complete games in a season since Ismael Valdes in 1995.
It was the 17th complete game of Kershaw's career, and the first one he lost.
Kershaw has lasted seven or more innings in 12 straight starts. Since Orel Hershiser's Cy Young season in 1988, the only Dodgers streak longer was Hideo Nomo, with 13 straight in 2003.
But the offense was held in check, so much so that Matt Kemp's tomahawk home run to left field in the ninth against closer Francisco Rodriguez could only cut the deficit to 3-2. Rodriguez recovered to strike out Carl Crawford and Turner, and got pinch hitter Andre Ethier to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
The Dodgers have scored 14 total runs in five games against the Brewers this season, including four games with three or fewer runs scored. The only game the Dodgers won was last Sunday, with five runs scored.
The Dodgers offense has averaged 3.5 runs per game in August, thus far a .500 (8-8) month.
Darwin Barney pinch hit for Miguel Rojas in the seventh inning and played the final two innings at shortstop. It was the 20th career major league game at shortstop for the former Gold Glove Award-winning second baseman, and his first since July 6, 2012.
Just like last weekend in Milwaukee, the Dodgers will try to salvage the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon. Dan Haren gets the call for the Dodgers in the finale, facing Wily Peralta for Milwaukee.
Home runs: Matt Kemp (15):(15), Carlos Gomez (19)
WP - Yovani Gallardo (8-6): 8 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (14-3): 9 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 11 strikeouts
Sv -(38): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 strikeouts