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Brewers hit 3 home runs to take opener from Dodgers

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So, about those home runs we were talking about before the game? The Brewers hit three of them on Thursday night, including the game-winning two-run shot by Jonathan Villar in the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers 8-6 in the opener of a four-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers fell to 6½ games behind San Francisco in the National League West, their largest divisional deficit of the season.

Pedro Baez pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and with the Brewers due to send up their eight, ninth and leadoff hitters in a tie game in the ninth, manager Dave Roberts opted to stay another inning with Baez, who has allowed one run in the last month, covering 12 appearances and 11⅔ innings.

But one out after a leadoff walk, Jonathan Villar took Baez over the wall to break the tie.

"For Baez, up jumps the devil," Vin Scully said on the SportsNet LA broadcast. "He could be sailing along and then boom, a home run."

Baez has allowed six home runs this season; among Dodgers pitches, only starters Scott Kazmir (12) and Mike Bolsinger (seven) have allowed more.

Kenley Jansen, who got saves in each of the previous two days, was warming up in the bottom of the eighth inning, but did not pitch. He has yet to pitch on three consecutive days this season.

It was the third time the Dodgers trailed in Thursday's game, which was followed each of the previous two times by three-run innings to tie. The Dodgers threatened in the ninth inning with a pair of two-out singles and a hit by pitch, but Jeremy Jeffress struck out Corey Seager with the bases loaded to end the game.

Clayton Kershaw represented the tying run, but was stranded at second base in his second career pinch-running appearance, along with June 8, 2013.

It was a weird end to a weird, eventful game

Scott Kazmir struck out eight, but also threw 93 pitches and was pulled after just four innings and three runs allowed.

Trayce Thompson hit a three-run home run to neutralize an early 3-0 deficit, then doubled to start a three-run tying rally in the sixth, a rally aided by two errors from Keon Broxton in center field. That latter rally ended with Joc Pederson scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly by Justin Turner, but the run almost didn't count because Yasmani Grandal was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play. That was the final out of the inning, but replay could not overturn the call on the field that Pederson touched home plate before Grandal was tagged out.

Whatever the result, it was questionable baserunning by Grandal (to not stop, to make sure the run scored), and the source of a dugout argument between innings between Turner and Grandal.

The argument was not shown on SportsNet LA, though Roberts said after the game, "Obviously with emotions, people get heated. But we cleaned it up."

The game also saw Casey Fien allow his first runs as a Dodger, with a pair of home runs by Aaron Hill and Chris Carter in a three-run fifth inning. Fien before Thursday struck out nine in eight scoreless innings since joining the Dodgers, after allowing five home runs in 14 games with the Twins to start the season before getting placed on waivers.

Howie Kendrick had two hits in the loss, and also stole his team-leading sixth base of the season. He has yet to be caught.

Utley was hit by two pitches on Thursday, matching his season high, done also last Friday in San Francisco. He took over the team lead with eight hit by pitches this season.

Up next

Julio Urias makes start number five for the Dodgers on Friday night, and possibly the first of just two more starts in this initial major league stint. Milwaukee will send Zach Davies in the second game of the weekend series, another 7:10 p.m. PT start.

Thursday particulars

Home runs: Trayce Thompson (11); Aaron Hill (7), Chris Carter (18), Jonathan Villar (6)

WP - Tyler Thornburg (3-1): 1 IP, 1 strikeout

LP - Pedro Baez (0-2): 2 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Sv - Jeremy Jeffress (19): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 strikeout