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Brewers chase Dan Haren early to sweep Dodgers, 7-2

Dan Haren reverts back to his struggling ways in the Dodgers 7-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy drives in five runs in the first inning to push the Brewers past the Dodgers, 7-2

What to do, what to do?

Perhaps most frightening, the options are of the very limited variety.

Dan Haren reverted back to bad Dan Haren on a hot Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, and the Milwaukee Brewers were all too happy to jump on him early and often in a 7-2 victory and series sweep.

Should the Dodgers make it to the playoffs, they better hope they don’t run up against the Brewers. Milwaukee won five of six meetings against the Dodgers this season.

It was the first time this season the Dodgers had been swept in a series that was three games or longer, and it cut their lead in the National League West to 3½ games over the San Francisco Giants.

They were out of Sunday’s game in a hurry, and so was Haren.

Haren gave up a two-run homer to Jonathan Lucroy in the first and then a three-run double to him in the second. The Dodgers had batted only once and already trailed Lucroy, 5-0.

Haren (10-10) gave up one more in the third and called it a day, having already thrown 74 pitches.

He now returns to Dan Haren, dilemma.

Haren had gone 0-5 with a 10.03 earned-run average in five consecutive starts and appeared a major candidate to lose his spot in the rotation. Then he came back with two excellent outings (2-0, 2.03), while starters Josh Beckett (hip) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (buttock), and back-up starter Paul Maholm (knee surgery), all went to the disabled list.

The Dodgers already have a five-man pitching rotation that includes new additions Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia, and there’s little left to replace Haren.

One candidate could be Carlos Frias, who took over for Haren on Sunday. After allowing a solo home run to his first batter (Carlos Gomez), Frias retired his last 12 consecutive batters.

The home run was the only hit he allowed, and he did not walk a batter in his four innings. He struck out two.

Haren was charged with six runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks in his three quick innings.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee continued to stifle the Dodgers’ offense. This time it was Wily Peralta’s turn to look like Cy Young material, holding the Dodgers scoreless on five hits in his easy six innings.

Peralta earned his 15th win, tying him with Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright for most victories in the majors.

The Dodgers avoided the shutout when they scored twice against Marco Estrada in the eighth. Back-to-back leadoff doubles by Andre Ethier scored one, and two outs later, ex-Dodger Elian Herrera lost Darwin Barney’s drive in the sun for another run-scoring double.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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