The Dodgers needed a confidence boost Friday night after a dismal experience in Colorado, and few sights are more comforting than the lowly Milwaukee Brewers.
So one could understand the Dodgers’ foul mood after a 5-3 loss to the Brewers at Dodger Stadium that extended their losing streak to four games.
“It’s very frustrating, especially after getting swept in Colorado,” right fielder Shawn Green said. “We wanted to come back home and get things turned around, but that didn’t happen.”
Little went right for Dodgers before 32,452 fans, who voiced their displeasure as the second-place Dodgers (30-24) committed three errors, matched their longest losing streak of the season and dropped 3 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Paul Lo Duca added to his major league-leading total for catchers with error No. 10, and failed to throw out Brewer leadoff batter Eric Young on a two-out pitchout in the sixth inning. The Brewers went on to score three runs, retaking the lead at 4-2 and painfully reminding the Dodgers what they’ve been doing wrong lately.
“The last four games, we’re not playing well defensively, and that’s the difference,” said Lo Duca, two for four with a run-scoring double.
“Plain and simple, I cost us the game tonight. [Hideo] Nomo threw the ball well enough to win, and we should have won tonight.”
Nomo (6-5) was masterful last Saturday in a 6-0 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park, tossing a two-hitter with eight strikeouts.
The right-hander was sharp again for a long stretch Friday in a seven-inning outing -- retiring 17 in a row at one point -- but Young again stirred trouble for one of his former teams. Young opened the game with his sixth home run, ignited the two-out rally in the sixth and went three for four with two runs.
“This is what you always want to do,” said Young, batting .324 with 21 stolen bases against the Dodgers. “My job is to supposed to make things happen.”
Young singled to right with two out in the sixth and got his 15th stolen base, beating the pitchout sliding headfirst. Scott Podsednik singled to center to drive in Young, tying the score, 2-2, and advanced to second on center fielder Jolbert Cabrera’s error.
Richie Sexson then put the Brewers ahead for good with his 16th homer, a shot over the right-field wall. Nomo struck out Geoff Jenkins to end the inning, but Milwaukee had a 4-2 lead and the Dodgers’ mood had turned.
“We put a play on, and when he ended up being safe with the pitchout ... we’re out of that inning if we throw the guy out at second base, but we didn’t,” Manager Jim Tracy said.
“If we put that inning down right there, with the way Hideo was throwing the ball, who’s to sit here and say he wouldn’t have finished the game? That’s how well he was throwing it.”
The Dodgers had six hits and the Brewers (21-33) had seven. Closer Mike DeJean worked a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
Cabrera, starting in center with Dave Roberts on the disabled list and Brian Jordan sidelined, gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the second with his fourth homer against Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets (5-4) -- a two-run blast to center.
Fred McGriff and Lo Duca doubled with two out in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-3, but the Brewers scored an insurance run in the eighth on left fielder Bubba Crosby’s error.
Crosby, making his first start after being called up from triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday, overran Young’s single to left, enabling Enrique Cruz, who ran after pinch-hitter John Vander Wal singled, to score from first.
Young also had a highlight defensive moment in the eighth. After Green doubled, Young made a diving backhand stop of a ball hit by McGriff up the middle and threw him out to end the inning.
“He made a nice play on that ball,” Tracy said. “He did a very nice job at second base, he got the stolen base that set up their [sixth inning]. He was very much in the middle of a lot of things tonight. No question, Eric Young was.”