Make-out artists do finest work
James Loney triggered five Dodgers outs -- including a triple play -- in just two at-bats.
Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly gave up only two hits in seven innings to the Milwaukee Brewers, and left the game losing.
And crafty veteran Randy Wolf, a former Dodger now pitching for Milwaukee, tied up Dodgers batters on 67-mph breaking balls while holding them scoreless for eight innings.
Add it up and the red-hot Brewers shut out the Dodgers, 3-0, Monday night as the Dodgers opened their 10-game trip by wasting Lilly’s strong outing at Miller Park.
Lilly gave up a solo home run to Brewers slugger Ryan Braun in the fourth inning, the first hit the left-hander gave up.
And in the eighth inning, Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy and Corey Hart added solo homers against Dodgers relievers Scott Elbert and Mike MacDougal, respectively.
But the Dodgers also were burned by hitting into a season-high four double plays -- including one in the ninth inning -- in addition to the triple play in the second inning.
“It was one of those games, just kind of only fitting that we end the game with a double play on a night like tonight,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said.
Until the two home runs against the Dodgers relievers, the game was playing out as might be expected. With Lilly pitching better in recent starts, the Dodgers’ rotation arrived with one of baseball’s best combined earned-run averages, while the first-place Brewers countered with the National League’s second-best record (now 71-51), and the best home record (now 45-15) in the major leagues.
But thanks to Wolf’s pitching and his teammates’ fielding, the Dodgers (55-65) couldn’t score against Milwaukee, which has won 17 of its last 19 games.
“Their defense made some nice plays, some big plays that kept us from getting on the board,” Lilly said. “And you’ve got a pitchers’ duel going so there’s not much room for mistakes.”
But Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp said that didn’t excuse the Dodgers, who had six hits and drew five walks against Wolf.
“Definitely should have won that game,” Kemp said.
Lilly, who struck out six and walked two, pitched “a hell of a game. [I’m] disappointed in not scoring any runs for him,” Kemp said.
Kemp was at second base and Juan Rivera at first when Loney grounded into the triple play. Milwaukee first turned a conventional double play, getting Rivera at second base and Loney at first, then Kemp was thrown out at home trying to score.
In Loney’s next at-bat, in the fifth inning, he grounded into one of the double plays.
Three of the double plays turned by Milwaukee, and the triple play, occurred in the first five innings.
“There were some weird things that were going on,” Lilly said.