With a bang and a whiff. That’s how the first half of the Dodgers’ season ended Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory over the Brewers.
Together, the teams homered four times to generate five of the seven runs on the day. In the end, the only one that was not a solo shot won the game, as All-Star Adrian Gonzalez knocked one over the right-field wall with Howie Kendrick on second in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Brewers and Dodgers also struck out a combined 16 times, with all but one coming on a swing.
The Brewers, who are in last place in the NL Central but have played .500 baseball over the past month, got out to early lead in the first when Ryan Braun lofted one into the right-center field seats.
The Dodgers came right back with a double by Jimmy Rollins to open the bottom of the first. Rollins scored on an RBI single from Justin Turner. Turner ended the day at three for four with a double and a pair of singles.
Milwaukee got to starter Brett Anderson again in the third and fourth, first on a home run from Hernan Perez, the first of his career, and then on three straight singles. The Dodgers, on the other hand, went quietly for three innings, with Turner providing the only offense.
Anderson had a quality, efficient start, giving up three runs on eight hits, needing only 82 pitches to make it through seven innings. However, he did not receive a decision for the first time in five starts.
The Dodgerd gave him no support from there on out except for a solo homer from A.J. Ellis, his second home run in as many starts. From the third to the seventh inning, L.A. struck out nine times.
Instead, the win went to Pedro Baez, who pitched a perfect eighth, thanks to an offensive outburst in the bottom half of the inning.
Kendrick led off with a single up the middle, then advanced to second on an error by center fielder Carlos Gomez. Gonzalez followed up with his home run to put the Dodgers ahead, and Joc Pederson followed two batters later with a double.
Pederson finished the day one for four with two strikeouts and has been in a slump as of late, hitting .132 in July, but did get news that he would move up from reserve to starter in Tuesday’s All-Star game because of an injury to Matt Holliday.
Puig and Ellis could not advance Pederson past second in the eighth, so Kenley Jansen came on protecting a one-run lead. He retired the side in order, fanning the final two batters, for his 16th save of the year and second of the series.
The Dodgers enter the All-Star break 12 games above .500, but at an even 29-29 over the past two months. They send five players to the All-Star game: Pederson, Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. That number is the highest total for the team since 1995.