A three-run rally in the eighth inning by the Brewers stunned a cruising Clayton Kershaw, sending the Dodgers to a 4-3 loss in the opener of a four-game series on Monday night at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Dodgers, who ran their road record to 3-7.
Kershaw struck out eight and walked none in 7⅓ innings, the longest outing by a Dodgers starter this year.
He entered the eighth inning at just 75 pitches and with a 3-1 lead, but a one-out home run by Hector Gomez followed by a double from Adam Lind ended Kershaw's night before he would have liked.
The Dodgers needed a deep outing out of Kershaw after the Dodgers used seven relievers on Sunday, ending a busy weekend of relief for a bullpen that entered Monday with a string of 26 consecutive scoreless innings.
Chris Hatcher, the one Dodgers reliever on Sunday who didn't pitch, entered in relief of Kershaw and quickly allowed a double to Carlos Gomez, bringing home Lind to tie the game. A ground ball moved Gomez to third, then Ryan Braun had his bat shatter on a slow ground ball to third base.
Braun was able to beat Juan Uribe 's throw to first base, extending the inning and allowing Gomez to score the go-ahead run.
In the first five innings Kershaw was dominant, allowing only one runner to reach base, a single by his counterpart Kyle Lohse in the third inning. Milwaukee threatened in the sixth inning with back-to-back triples by Hector Gomez and pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra plated Milwaukee's first run. Kershaw escaped further damage when Parra tried to score on a ground ball to third base, and was thrown out easily at home by Uribe.
Joc Pederson got the Dodgers started off right, with a home run to right field leading off the first inning, his fifth home run in his last six starts.
The Dodgers plated two runs in the fourth, punctuated by an RBI single off the center field wall by Yasmani Grandal, who remained on fire. Grandal was 3-for-4 with a double on the night, and in his last three games is 7-for-9 (.778) with two doubles and a home run.
But that 3-0 lead didn't hold up.
The Dodgers this season are 2-9 when scoring three or fewer runs, and 14-0 when scoring four or more runs.
Juan Uribe drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and later walked, but his sixth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Uribe is hitting .318/.354/.432 during the streak.
Adrian Gonzalez didn't register an official at-bat on Monday, but walked three times and was hit by a pitch, reaching base at least four times for the 87th time in his career.
Monday was the 21st career start for Kershaw with eight or more strikeouts and no walks.
Kershaw leads the majors with 51 strikeouts.
Manager Don Mattingly was ejected in the third inning for arguing a balk call against Kershaw with first base umpire Paul Emmel. It was the first ejection this season for Mattingly and his 16th as a manager. Mattingly was ejected three times in 2014.
Hector Gomez, the 27-year-old journeyman, with nine years and 2,724 plate appearances of minor league experience under his belt, hit his first major league home run and first major league triple in the same game, both off Kershaw.
The Dodgers send Zack Greinke to the mound on Tuesday night, starting against one of his old teams. Matt Garza starts for the Brewers, a 5:10 p.m. PT start.
Home runs: Joc Pederson (7); Hector Gomez (1)
WP - Michael Blazek (2-0): 2 IP, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Chris Hatcher (0-3): ⅔ IP, 2 hits, 1 run
Sv - Francisco Rodriguez (5): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts