The stretch calls the Dodgers. Alas, so does the disabled list.
And right now, you have to wonder if the DL's call is growing a tad louder. Or at least too loud.
The Dodgers fell to the disabled list and to the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2, on a warm Saturday night, Milwaukee doing what no one else has been able to do for 21/2 months — beat Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw again pitched very well — throwing a complete-game five-hitter and striking out 11 — but for the first time this season he gave up two home runs in a game.
The Dodgers had not lost in Kershaw's last 13 starts, since May 28, and this defeat cut their lead in the National League West to 41/2 games over the San Francisco Giants.
But trouble began before the game when the Dodgers put third baseman Juan Uribe on their swelling disabled list with a strained right hamstring. This is the same injury he suffered in May that forced him to miss 34 games and he said the pain was similar.
"Something like that," Uribe said.
Uribe becomes the Dodgers' 24th DL move this season, but their sixth in the past two weeks. He joins Hyun-Jin Ryu (right buttock sprain), Hanley Ramirez (oblique), Chris Perez (ankle bone spurs), Josh Beckett (hip impingement) and Paul Maholm (knee surgery) as August additions.
Manager Don Mattingly could be looking at some inventive lineups this month, not to mention rotations. Maybe he starts each day by asking for a show of healthy hands.
The left side of the Dodgers' infield now features starters Justin Turner at third and Miguel Rojas at shortstop.
Mattingly maintained there isn't a growing concern with the new wave of injuries.
"At this point it's not because I don't feel like we're losing guys for the season," he said. "I feel like everything that is going on with us, guys are going to be back, and back for the stretch."
Ramirez is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 24. For the past two days he has taken infield, and it should be noted, Saturday he did so at third base.
"We feel like when it's time for him to come off, he's going to be ready," Mattingly said. "The positive with Poppy [Uribe] is, we feel like he'll be ready to go in two weeks. We hope so."
Uribe did not sound quite as optimistic. He said he felt the hamstring go while chasing a foul ball Friday night.
In addition to giving the Dodgers Gold Glove-caliber defense at third, he's also batting .293. Turner started for him Saturday and drove in the Dodgers' only run before Matt Kemp homered to lead off the ninth.
The way Kershaw has been going of late, one run is often all the Dodgers need.
But on this night he made two mistakes, and both proved costly.
The game was scoreless in the fourth when Carlos Gomez doubled and Ryan Braun homered to right. Gomez added a solo home run in the sixth.
It was the first time Kershaw gave up two home runs in one game since last September. Still, Kershaw (14-3) held the Brewers to five hits, did not walk a batter and needed only 97 pitches as his earned-run average soared from 1.78 to 1.86.
"He basically gave the bullpen a day off, so if there is a positive to losing a game, I guess that would be it," Mattingly said.
The Dodgers' offense could get little going against Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo (8-6), who held them to six singles in his eight innings.
"Gallardo basically shut us down," Mattingly said.
After Carl Crawford beat out an infield hit and stole second, Turner singled in the fourth to drive him in. Kemp hit a solo home run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth.
The Dodgers have 12 games remaining in August before the September stretch run arrives.
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