Dodgers shift their focus to wild-card game before sweeping Brewers
The Dodgers threw in the towel in their fight for the National League West title in the fifth inning of their 10-3 win Sunday, knowing they were behind in the cards, resigned to the fact that they were going to play in Wednesday’s wild-card game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The out-of-town scoreboard in right field displayed the frustrating reality: The San Francisco Giants were drubbing the lifeless, soon-to-fire-their-manager San Diego Padres 7-1 en route to terminating the Dodgers’ eight-year supremacy in the division with a 11-4 rout.
Knowing that, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chose to play for Wednesday. He pulled Walker Buehler after five innings. The big-game dealer held the Milwaukee Brewers to one run over five innings. He compiled 11 strikeouts and threw just 79 pitches. But that didn’t matter. Saving bullets for a possible relief appearance in Wednesday’s one-game playoff was more important.
Nine reasons the Dodgers should worry about the Cardinals in the wild-card game
The St. Louis Cardinals were 71-69 on Sept. 10, a whopping 15 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central and three games out of the wild-card picture, before reeling off a franchise-record 17 consecutive wins and clinching the second wild-card spot with a 6-2 victory over the Brewers last Tuesday night.
The hottest team in baseball, one that has won 19 of 21 games entering Sunday, is not the opponent anyone wants to face in a playoff elimination game, but these are the Cards the Dodgers have been dealt.
The Dodgers will host St. Louis in Wednesday’s NL wild-card game, with the winner advancing to the best-of-five NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants beginning next Friday and the loser going home for the winter.
Giants clinch NL West title; Dodgers set for wild-card game vs. Cardinals
SAN FRANCISCO — The ballpark was called AT&T Park back then. On Sept. 22, 2012, the San Francisco Giants clinched the championship of the National League West.
The ballpark is called Oracle Park today. On Sunday — nine years and 11 days later — the Giants once again were champions of the NL West.
In the eight seasons in between, no team besides the Dodgers won the division. That streak came crashing to a halt Sunday, on the shores of McCovey Cove, as the Giants finished ahead of the Dodgers with an 11-4 rout of the San Diego Padres.
Dodgers defeat the Brewers, 10-3
Brewers: Bradley grounded to first. Pina grounded to second. Peterson popped to third.
Final score: Dodgers 10, Brewers 3
We go to the ninth, 10-3 Dodgers
Brewers: Adames doubled to left. Tellez doubled to right, scoring Adames. Garcia grounded to third. Urias flied to left. Eduardo Escobar, batting for Hader, doubled to right, Tellez scoring. Taylor flied to left.
Dodgers: Left-hander Daniel Norris now pitching for the Brewers. Smith flied to right. Pollock walked on five pitches. Taylor singled to right-center, Pollock to second. Beaty homered to right, estimated at 368 feet. Jackson grounded to third. Lux walked on six pitches. Bellinger grounded to second.
Dodgers lead 7-1, but Giants win NL West
Brewers: Right-hander Andre Jackson now pitching for the Dodgers. Lux in right. Barnes at second. Taylor at short. Beaty at third. Taylor struck out swinging. Bradley singled to center. Pina struck out swinging. Peterson struck out swinging.
Dodgers: Left-hander Josh Hader pitching for the Brewers. Lux struck out swinging. Bellinger singled to left. Barnes struck out swinging. Pujols struck out swinging.
Score after seven: Dodgers 7, Brewers 1
Final score in San Francisco: Giants 11, Padres 4
Giants win NL West; Dodgers will play one-game wild-card playoff Wednesday against St. Louis at Dodger Stadium
Dodgers lead Brewers 7-1; Giants lead Padres 11-2
Brewers: Right-hander Phil Bickford now pitching for the Dodgers. Betts at second. Bellinger in center. Taylor to third. Beaty in right. Tellez struck out swinging. Garcia reached first on Taylor’s error. Urias flied to left. Left-hander Justin Bruihl now pitching for the Dodgers. Narvaez fouled to third.
Dodgers: Pujols lined to left. Smith doubled to center. Pollock grounded to short, Smith to third. Taylor walked on five pitches. Beaty singled to center, Smith scored, Taylor to third. Right-hander Brad Boxberger now pitching for the Brewers. Manny Pina now catching. Betts grounded to third, forcing Beaty.
Score after six: Dodgers 7, Brewers 1
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Giants 11, Padres 2 after seven
Dodgers lead 6-1; Giants lead Padres 9-1
Brewers: Daniel Vogelbach, batting for Strickland, struck out looking. Peterson lined to second. Adames struck out swinging.
Dodgers: Left-hander Aaron Ashby now pitching for the Brewers. Pujols struck out swinging. Smith walked on five pitches. Pollock grounded to third, Smith to second. Taylor walked on five pitches. Matt Beaty, batting for Buehler, singled to left, loading the bases. Betts walked on five pitches, scoring Smith. Seager singled to right, scoring Taylor. Bases remain loaded. T.Turner homered to left, estimated at 408 feet. Left-hander Brent Suter now pitching for the Brewers. J.Turner grounded to third.
Score after five: Dodgers 6, Brewers 1
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Giants 9, Padres 1 in top of sixth
Brewers take 1-0 lead over Dodgers in fourth inning
Brewers: Tellez doubled to right. Garcia doubled to right, Tellez scoring. Urias was hit by a pitch. Narvaez struck out swinging. Taylor flied to left. Bradley struck out swinging.
Dodgers: Right-hander Hunter Strickland now pitching for the Brewers. Betts popped to third. Seager singled to left. T.Turner struck out swinging. J.Turner popped to first.
Score after four: Brewers 1, Dodgers 0
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Giants 3, Padres 1 in bottom of fourth
Max Muncy injured in third inning
Brewers: Jandel Gustave struck out looking. Pederson hit a dribbler that Smith fielded and threw Peterson out. However, Peterson collided with Max Muncy’s left arm. Muncy left the game in considerable pain. This is not good. Albert Pujols now at first base. Adames grounded to second.
Dodgers: AJ Pollock flied to right. Chris Taylor struck out looking. Walker Buehler struck out swinging.
Score after three: Dodgers 0, Brewers 0
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Giants 2, Padres 0 after three innings
No score after two innings
Brewers: Luis Urias struck out looking. Omar Narvaez struck out swinging. Tyrone Taylor doubled to left. Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out swinging.
Dodgers: Right-hander Jandel Gustave now pitching for the Brewers. Justin Turner lined to center. Max Muncy flied to left. Will Smith flied to center.
Score after two: Dodgers 0, Brewers 0
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: Padres 0, Giants 0
Dodgers-Brewers tied 0-0, as are Giants and Padres
Brewers: Right-hander Walker Buehler pitching for the Dodgers. Jace Peterson struck out swinging. Willy Adames struck out swinging. Rowdy Tellez walked on five pitches. Avisail Garcia struck out swinging.
Dodgers: Left-hander and former Dodger Brett Anderson pitching for the Brewers. Mookie Betts grounded to third. Corey Seager singled to right. Trea Turner grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Score after one: Dodgers 0, Brewers 0
Meanwhile, in San Francisco: No score after one inning
If there is a Game 163, Dodgers will go all-in on division title and start Max Scherzer against Giants
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts left little doubt about his team’s intent if the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants lose to the San Diego Padres on Sunday to force a Game 163 to determine the National League West champion on Monday.
The Dodgers will go all-in to win the division, starting Max Scherzer against the Giants in San Francisco, even if that leaves them without their top three starters—Scherzer, Walker Buehler or Julio Urias—to pitch in an NL wild-card game against St. Louis Wednesday night, should they lose Game 163.
“I just don’t see any other way to look at it,” Roberts said before Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Brewers in Dodger Stadium. “Walker [Buehler] is going today, and if there’s a 163, Max will pitch, we’ll expect to win, and we’ll go from there.”
The benefits of starting Scherzer, who is 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts on the season and 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 starts since his July 30 trade from Washington, in a Game 163 are many.
It would give the Dodgers the best chance to beat the Giants, win their ninth straight division title and avoid a single-elimination wild-card game against the Cardinals, who have won 19 of 21 games entering Sunday.
A win over the Giants would clinch a spot in the best-of-five NL division series against the Giants-Cardinals wild-card winner and would clinch home-field advantage for the Dodgers throughout the post-season.
It would also allow the Dodgers to open the division series with Buehler and Scherzer starting Games 1 and 2 and give them the option of starting Buehler on extra rest or Scherzer on regular rest for a deciding Game 5.
But a Game 163 would not be a single-elimination game. Lose a wild-card game and you go home for the winter, regardless of the fact you may have tied a franchise record with 106 wins. Wouldn’t it be better to save Scherzer for a potential knock-out game?
“I think it’s just play to win that game [in front of you],” Roberts said, “and we’ll kind of figure that out, however that plays out.”
The Cardinals have announced that 40-year-old ace Adam Wainwright will start the wild-card game. Scherzer faced the Cardinals in St. Louis on Sept. 6, giving up one unearned run and six hits, striking out 13 and walking none in eight innings of a 5-1 victory.
The right-hander acknowledged that he benefitted from the shadows of a 3 p.m. CDT Labor Day start in Busch Stadium. Wednesday’s wild-card game will start at 5 p.m., so the shadows could be a factor in the early innings.
The Dodgers used a “bullpen game” the following day in St. Louis, with nine relievers combining to give up two runs and eight hits in a 7-2 victory on Sept. 7.
If they do play a Game 163 in San Francisco on Monday and a wild-card game on Wednesday, the Dodgers may have to employ a similar bullpen tactic against the Cardinals or go with No. 4 starter Tony Gonsolin.
Julio Urías got a call from Canelo Álvarez before winning his 20th game
The Dodgers’ NL West title chase comes down to Game 162
The Dodgers’ chase for their ninth straight National League West title comes down to Game 162.
A Dodgers win plus a Giants loss Sunday and the rivals will play a tiebreaker for the division crown Monday at Oracle Park.
The Giants would win the division if they beat the Padres or the Dodgers lose. The Dodgers would then play in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday against the Cardinals. The Giants would advance straight to the NLDS to face the winner of that elimination game.
Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers opposite Brett Anderson in a bullpen game for the Brewers on Sunday. The Giants will have Logan Webb, their best starter in the second half, take the mound in San Francisco. Reiss Knehr will make his fifth career start — and 11th career appearance — for San Diego.
The Padres became a colossal disappointment after the All-Star break — they’re expected to fire manager Jayce Tingler following Sunday’s game — but they’ve played the Giants tough. While San Diego is just 4-17 since Sept. 10, all four wins have been over the Giants.
The Brewers, meanwhile, clinched the NL Central a week ago and have nothing to play for. They’ve handled this series accordingly.
On Saturday, manager Craig Counsell pulled Cy Young Award candidate Corbin Burnes after two innings. Anderson, Sunday’s starter, threw five innings Thursday. He’s not expected to log more than two innings. As for their lineup Sunday, Christian Yelich, Kolten Wong, Lorenzo Cain and Eduardo Escobar — four of the club’s best players — won’t start.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Trea Turner 2B
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Will Smith C
AJ Pollock LF
Chris Taylor CF
Walker Buehler P
Jace Peterson 2B
Willy Adames SS
Rowdy Tellez 1B
Avisail García RF
Luis Urías 3B
Omar Narváez C
Tyrone Taylor LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brett Anderson P
Dodgers beat Brewers to stay alive in NL West race; Julio Urías gets 20th win
The odds of the Dodgers staying alive in their vexing quest for a ninth consecutive National League West title Saturday weren’t pretty.
Los Angeles first needed the San Diego Padres — a miserable, disappointing collection of talent this season — to topple the 106-win San Francisco Giants. Minutes before that game started, a report surfaced that the Padres planned on firing manager Jayce Tingler once the season ended Sunday. The Padres quickly called the news “premature.” The word “false” didn’t make the cut. Tingler was a lame duck for another 24 hours. It didn’t look good for the Dodgers.
And yet the Padres came through for Los Angeles, ending a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2, 10-inning win in San Francisco that prompted cheers from the arriving crowd and smiles in the home clubhouse at Dodger Stadium.
“It was a good buzz going around the clubhouse heading into that game tonight,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said, “knowing the opportunity that was in front of us.”
What is the Dodgers history in MLB tiebreaker playoff games?
The Dodgers played in the first playoff tiebreaker, which was originally a best-of-three series, and they played in the most recent one, in 2018 against the Colorado Rockies. They very well may play in the next one. Should Los Angeles and the San Francisco Giants finish with the same record at the end of the regular season, they would play a one-game tiebreaker in San Francisco on Monday (which creates a nightmare scenario for the loser) to determine who gets to bypass a play-in game two days later. It would be the third time the two arch-foes have played a tiebreaker and the first in 59 years.
Here is the history of the Dodgers in a tiebreaker series or game.
1946 tiebreaker series
St. Louis Cardinals 4, Brooklyn Dodgers 2
Cardinals 8, Dodgers 4
Until 1969, teams knotted at the end of the regular season played a best-of-three tiebreaker series to determine who went to the World Series. In the first of four tiebreaker series the Dodgers would play over the next 16 years, the Cardinals largely silenced the Dodgers’ bats until the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 , when Brooklyn scored three of the six runs it would score in the two games. By that time, the Cardinals led 8-1.
Dodgers defeat Brewers 8-3 to stay alive in NL West title race
Behind a dominant performance by Julio Urías and home runs by Justin Turner, AJ Pollock and Corey Seager, the Dodgers defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 at Dodger Stadium to stay in the hunt for the NL West title.
Urías became the first Dodgers pitcher to reach 20 wins in a season since Clayton Kershaw achieved the feat in 2014. Urías is the only pitcher in the majors to win 20 games this season.
With the San Diego Padres’ win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday afternoon, the Dodgers knew a win on Saturday night would extend the race at least one more day. The Dodgers need to sweep the Brewers on Sunday afternoon and hope the Padres beat the Giants in order to force a one-game tiebreaker against San Francisco for the title.
David Price pitched the ninth inning, giving up a solo home run to Willy Adames and a run-scoring single to Tyrone Taylor. A 6-4-3 double play later in the inning sealed the win.
The Dodgers will play their final game of the regular season Sunday against the Brewers at noon PDT.
Willy Adames hits solo home run for Brewers in the ninth inning
Milwaukee’s Willy Adames hit a solo home run and Tyrone Taylor hit a run-scoring double to make it 8-3 Dodgers in the ninth inning.
It was Adames’ 25th homer of the season.
Dodgers extend lead on run-scoring double by Max Muncy
Max Muncy doubled off the wall in right field, scoring Trea Turner from second base to give the Dodgers an 8-1 lead in the eighth inning.
Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor appeared to be under the ball with his back nearly up against the scoreboard on the right field wall, but the ball hit the lip of the wall and ricocheted into the field, giving Turner plenty of time to score.
Turner picked up his second hit of the game on a laser down the left-field line off Colin Rea for a standup double. The ball just barely stayed fair when the it landed on the line. A quick video replay review by the umpires confirmed the on-field call.
Rea struck out Will Smith to send the game into the ninth. David Price will be on the mound for a Dodgers team looking to extend the NL West title race for at least one more day.
Brewers: Dodgers reliever Mitch White, taking over for Phil Bickford, oversees a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out Colin Rea along the way.
End of the eighth: Dodgers 8, Brewers 1
Julio Urías dominates once again in pursuit of win No. 20
Brewers: After getting Christian Yelich to line out to right field to start the seventh, Julio Urías received a well-earned ovation from the Dodger Stadium crowd when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to go to his bullpen.
Urías had one of his best performances of the season. He allowed one run and one hit and struck out seven over 6 1/3 innings in pursuit of his 20th win of the season. It marked the third time this season he held an opponent to one hit in a game (minimum five innings).
Phil Bickford took over on the mound and got Tyrone Taylor to pop out before Lorenzo Cain lined out to AJ Pollock in left field.
Dodgers: Cody Bellinger struck out, Chris Taylor flied out and Mookie Betts grounded out in the 1-2-3 frame.
End of the seventh: Dodgers 7, Brewers 1
Dodgers lead Brewers 7-1 heading into the seventh inning
Brewers: Milwaukee’s Willy Adames managed to draw a walk off Julio Urías, but that was all the Dodgers starter would allow as he tries to earn his 20th win of the season.
Dodgers: A 1-2-3 inning for the Dodgers at the plate ends with AJ Pollock finding the warning track in center field — about 10 feet shy of what would have been his fifth home run in four games.
End of the sixth: Dodgers 7, Brewers 1
Dodgers take 7-1 lead on Corey Seager solo home run
Corey Seager hit a solo home run off Brewers reliever Colin Rea to give the Dodgers a 7-1 lead in the fifth inning.
Seager’s 16th homer of the season landed just inside the right foul pole.
Brewers: Julio Urías continues to dominate on the mound for the Dodgers, retiring the last 14 batter he has faced. He struck out Lorenzo Cain and Manny Pina to give him five strikeouts on the night.
End of the fifth: Dodgers 7, Brewers 1
AJ Pollock hits two-run home run to give Dodgers 6-1 lead
AJ Pollock hit a two-run home run and Will Smith drove in a run on sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 6-1 lead over the Brewers in the fourth inning.
It was Pollock’s 21st home run of the season — a single-season career high — and it earned him a hug from Albert Pujols in the dugout. It was also Pollock’s fourth home run in the last four games.
Max Muncy led off with a single to right off Milwaukee reliever Colin Rea before Justin Turner picked up his second hit of the game on a sharp grounder up the middle. Muncy scored from third on Smith’s fly to deep right-center field before Pollock blasted a shot to center field to plate Turner.
Brewers: Julio Urías struck out Eduardo Escobar and Tyrone Taylor on his way to retiring the last 11 batters he has faced. After allowing a run and a hit over his first 19 pitches, he’s been perfect over his last 23 throws.
End of the fourth: Dodgers 6, Brewers 1
Dodgers lead Brewers 3-1 heading into the fourth
Brewers: Dodgers starter Julio Urías recorded another 1-2-3 inning. He has retired the last eight batters he’s faced as he seeks to become the only pitcher in the majors this season to win 20 games.
Dodgers: Corey Seager singled on a one-out line drive to center field before Trea Turner grounded out into a 6-4-3 double play that was confirmed upon video review.
End of the third: Dodgers 3, Brewers 1
Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes done after two innings
Brewers at the plate: Julio Urías retired Milwaukee’s hitters in order on 10 pitches.
Dodgers: The Dodgers also went down 1-2-3, with Brewers starter Corbin Burnes striking out Cody Bellinger and Urías along the way.
In an interesting development, Brewers manager Craig Counsell opted to remove Burnes from the game after two innings. Burnes was set to bat in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter Jackie Bradley. It’ll be up to the Milwaukee bullpen to thwart the Dodgers’ hopes of staying in the NL West title chase tonight.
Colin Rea, making his Brewers debut, will be on the mound in the third.
End of the second: Dodgers 3, Brewers 1
Justin Turner hits a three-run home run to give Dodgers early lead
Justin Turner hit a three-run home run off Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the first inning.
Turner hit his career-high 27th home run on a blast to deep left center field. Trea Turner and Max Muncy scored on the homer. Turner reached base on a two-out single to right and Muncy drew a walk.
Brewers at the plate: Christian Yelich drove in Willy Adames from third on a groundout to first base that gave Milwaukee a brief lead in the top of the inning.
Eduardo Escobar doubled into deep left field off Dodgers starter Julio Urías, allowing Adames to advance from first to third. Adames reached base when he drew a one-out walk.
AJ Pollock recorded the final out of the top of the first when he stretched over the wall in foul territory to catch a fly hit by Tyrone Taylor.
End of the first: Dodgers 3, Brewers 1
Dodgers’ NL West title hopes remain alive as Padres beat Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — Not done yet.
The Dodgers’ bid for a ninth consecutive National League West championship remains alive, at least for a few hours. The Giants were five outs from a division-clinching victory Saturday, but Jake Cronenworth’s run-scoring double in the 10th inning gave the San Diego Padres a 3-2 win, and gave the Dodgers a chance to keep the division title in question until the final day of the regular season.
The Giants still must lose Sunday, and the Dodgers must win Saturday night and Sunday, in order for the Dodgers to force a one-game Monday tiebreaker in San Francisco for the NL West title. But that game is close enough to reality that the Giants said tickets would go on sale for the tiebreaker Saturday night.
Dodgers place Clayton Kershaw on injured list with ‘left forearm discomfort’
As expected, the Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the injured list Saturday after he left Friday’s start with an arm injury.
The Dodgers described Kershaw’s injury as “left forearm discomfort.” It’s the same problem that forced Kershaw to miss more than two months this season. The team recalled right-hander Mitch White to take his place on the roster.
“He’s going to get some testing on Monday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Came in and worked out today in the weight room. Still some soreness. I think that obviously he’s not going to do any baseball activity today and I don’t think we’ll know anything more definitive until after those Monday scans.”
Kershaw recorded five outs Friday before Roberts and trainer Neil Rampe emerged from the Dodgers’ dugout to check on him. They noticed the left-hander had winced on multiple pitches. Kershaw then told them he couldn’t pitch any more.
After the game, Kershaw indicated he doesn’t expect to pitch again in 2021.
If Friday night’s disappointing start against Milwaukee really was Clayton Kershaw’s Dodgers farewell, it was as unfair as it was ugly.
“I know we’re going to do something special this year and I wanted to be a part of that,” Kershaw said. “So that’s the hardest part for me right now, is just knowing that chances are it’s not looking great for October right now. But, overall, it’s going to be fun to watch and I’m excited for these guys to do what they’re going to do in October.”
Roberts on Saturday confirmed that the Dodgers don’t expect to pitch again in 2021.
“There’s always a chance,” Roberts said, “but I think, right now, where we’re at, we’re going to proceed with that mindset.”
Without Kershaw, Roberts confirmed Julio Urías, Saturday’s starter against the Brewers, will be the Dodgers’ No. 3 starter for the postseason. The club had planned to use Urías in a hybrid role — as their No. 4 starter and as a reliever when available — like they used him last October.
Urías will take the mound Saturday seeking to become the Dodgers’ first 20-game winner since Kershaw in 2014. Urías is 19-3 with a 3.01 ERA in a career-high 179 1/3 innings this season.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Trea Turner 2B
Max Muncy 1B
Justin Turner 3B
Will Smith C
AJ Pollock LF
Cody Bellinger CF
Julio Urías P
Kolten Wong 2B
Willy Adames SS
Eduardo Escobar 3B
Christian Yelich LF
Lorenzo Cain CF
Rowdy Tellez 1B
Manny Piña C
Is Clayton Kershaw done as a Dodger? Decision on future looms for injured pitcher
He lowered his head. He slumped his shoulders. He slowed his steps.
He kept the baseball.
When Clayton Kershaw trudged off the mound in the second inning Friday with left forearm discomfort, it could have been just another painful chapter in the recent saga of a Hall of Fame Dodger in physical decline.
Or it could have been goodbye.
It felt like a little of both after Kershaw was pulled from a battering by the Milwaukee Brewers before the Dodgers mounted a second stirring comeback in three days to steal an 8-6 victory.
Clayton Kershaw after early exit: ‘It’s not looking great for October right now’
Their hopes of winning a ninth straight National League West title are hanging by a thread, but that thin strand of Dodger blue fibers hasn’t snapped just yet.
The hard-charging Dodgers stayed alive in a tight division race with the San Francisco Giants with an 8-6 come-from-behind victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night, Trea Turner electrifying a Chavez Ravine crowd of 51,388 with a score-tying grand slam in the fifth inning.
Turner also hit a solo shot in the first inning. Matt Beaty put the Dodgers ahead 6-5 with his second career pinch-hit homer, a solo shot to right-center field in the seventh, to give the Dodgers 14 homers in their last three games.
But the Giants beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 to remain two games ahead with two games to play and clinch at least a tie for the division title.
Dodgers defeat Brewers, but questions remain as postseason looms
Trea Turner hit two home runs, including a grand slam, to help power the Dodgers to an 8-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
Kenley Jansen earned the four-out save, striking out Tyrone Taylor for the first out of the ninth before Kolten Wong reached base on a fielding error by Turner. Wong was forced out at second when Willy Adames hit a grounder to short before Avisail Garcia popped out to first to end the game.
Turner hit a solo home run in the first inning and hit his grand slam in the fifth inning to push the Dodgers into the lead. The Dodgers then score three more runs in the seventh, sparked by a pinch-hit homer by Matt Beaty.
Clayton Kershaw left in the second inning with what the team described as left-forearm discomfort. Kershaw was only 1 2/3 innings into his fourth start off the injured list when he made his early exit. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game that Kershaw “couldn’t keep pitching so that’s pretty telling.”
The Dodgers are still alive in the NL West title race, but they would need to defeat the San Francisco Giants in a tiebreaker game to earn their ninth consecutive division title. The Giants lowered their magic number to one with their win over the San Diego Padres. If the Giants win Saturday or Sunday, they’ll capture the NL West crown.
The Dodgers and Brewers meet again Saturday at 6:10 p.m. PDT.
Daniel Vogelbach drives in run for Brewers in the eighth
Milwaukee’s Daniel Vogelbach drove in a run on a pinch-hit single off Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly to make it 8-6 Dodgers in eighth inning.
Kelly struck out Eduardo Escobar before walking Christian Yelich. Kelly then struck out Luis Urias with a 98-mph fastball. Vogelbach then singled into left-center field to plate Yelich.
Kenley Jansen replaced Kelly after Vogelbach’s hit with two outs in the eighth and got Omar Narvaez to pop out to Corey Seager to derail any potential rally.
Dodgers: Cody Bellinger singled after Milwaukee reliever Hunter Strickland dropped a throw from Eduardo Escobar while trying to force out Bellinger at first. Mookie Betts popped out to second to send the game into the ninth.
End of the eighth: Dodgers 8, Brewers 6
Matt Beaty homer gives Dodgers lead; Giants’ magic number at one
Matt Beaty hit a pinch-hit home run to spur a three-run surge for the Dodgers in the seventh inning, giving them an 8-5 lead over the Brewers.
Beaty’s sixth home run of the season was crushed into right-center field and it earned him a hug from Albert Pujols in the dugout.
Mookie Betts then reached base after Gustave hit him with a pitch and Corey Seager followed with a single into center field. The Brewers then intentionally walked Trea Turner to get to Justin Turner with the bases loaded. Gustave’s first pitch to Justin Turner hit the backstop, allowing Betts to score from third on the wild throw.
On the next at-bat, Max Muncy singled in Seager on a grounder to third base before Muncy was forced out at second on an AJ Pollock grounder to third.
Brewers: Blake Treinen became the sixth pitcher of the game for the Dodgers. After Tyrone Taylor grounded out to short and Kolten Wong struck out, Willy Adames singled on a line drive to center. Adames was forced out at second when Avisail Garcia hit into a grounder to third.
Update from San Francisco:
End of the seventh: Dodgers 8, Brewers 5
Dodgers and Brewers tied 5-5 after six innings
Brewers: Dodgers reliever Justin Bruihl got through a 1-2-3 inning, with Luis Urias grounding out and Lorenzo Cain and Omar Narvaez each popping out.
Dodgers: Facing Brewers reliever Jandel Gustave, the Dodgers also go down in order.
End of the sixth: Brewers 5, Dodgers 5
Trea Turner hits grand slam to tie game 5-5 in the fifth inning
Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner hit a grand slam home run off Milwaukee starter Eric Lauer to tie the game 5-5 in the fifth inning.
It is the second home run of the game for Turner, who hit a solo blast in the first inning. Turner’s 27th home run of the season was a no-doubter into the left-field pavilion.
After Chris Taylor flied out to the warning track in left to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Austin Barnes drove a hit off the glove of leaping Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong for a single. A sharp, 105-mph grounder to short by pinch-hitter Albert Pujols gave Barnes just enough time to reach second. A great diving stop by Milwaukee shortstop Willy Adames and a quick throw to second wasn’t enough to force out Barnes.
Mookie Betts then laced a single into center field to load the bases with one one out. Corey Seager popped into an infield fly before Turner crushed his second homer of the game.
Brewers: Christian Yelich hit a two-out single on a dribbler up the middle off Dodgers reliever Evan Phillips, who then struck out Eduardo Escobar to cap the inning.
End of the fifth inning: Brewers 5, Dodgers 5
Dodgers trail Brewers 5-1 heading into the fifth inning
Brewers: Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia retired Milwaukee’s batters in order. Omar Narvaez flied out to deep right field and Eric Lauer and Kolten Wong struck out.
Dodgers: Justin Turner singled to left before Max Muncy lined out to right and AJ Pollock popped out to first to cap the inning. So far, the Dodgers have just two hits.
Giants update: San Francisco leads the Padres 2-0 in the sixth inning.
End of the fourth: Brewers 5, Dodgers 1
Brewers drive in two more runs to take 5-1 lead in third inning
Milwaukee’s Eduardo Escobar and Luis Urias each drove in runs off Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol to give the Brewers a 5-1 lead in the third inning.
Graterol gave up a one-out single to Yelich before Escobar ripped a a 92-mph slider into the right-field corner for a double. On the next at-bat, Urias singled to center field and Escobar managed to beat the throw to home.
Alex Vesia relieved Graterol and struck out Lorenzo Cain before Austin Barnes immediately picked off Urias at second on a steal attempt.
Dodgers: Corey Seager ended the inning by hitting into a double play, forcing out Vesia at second.
End of the third: Brewers 5, Dodgers 1
Clayton Kershaw exits game with left forearm discomfort
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw left the game in the second inning after the Milwaukee Brewers jumped on him to take a 3-1 lead in the second inning. The Dodgers later announced Kershaw exited after experiencing left forearm discomfort.
Kershaw spoke with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a team trainer before leaving the game after he allowed three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. After spending a moment on the bench in the dugout, Kershaw made his way to the clubhouse. Kershaw was making his fourth start since coming off the injured list.
Lorenzo Cain and Kolten Wong each hit run-scoring doubles and Omar Narvaez drove in another run in the second inning to push Milwaukee into the lead. Kershaw appeared to grimace on his final pitch to Wong.
The Brewers opened the second with three consecutive hits off Kershaw. Cain drove in Eduardo Escobar on a double into the left-field corner and Narvaez plated Luis Urias on a groundball to short.
Kershaw responded by striking out Eric Lauer for the inning’s second out before Wong collected his second hit of the game. Brusdar Graterol replaced Kershaw and got Willy Adames to ground out to short for the third out.
Dodgers at the plate: Chris Taylor drew a two-out walk before AJ Pollock grounded out to third.
End of the second: Brewers 3, Dodgers 1
Trea Turner hits his 26th homer of the season to give Dodgers 1-0 lead
Trea Turner hit a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers starter Eric Lauer to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
In the process of hitting his 26th home run of the season, Turner extended his hitting streak to 17 games. He caught a Lauer pitch high in the zone and sent it straight into the right-field corner.
Brewers at the plate: Kolten Wong led off the game with a single, then stole second base before he reached third on a slow groundout to short by Avisail Garcia.
Wong failed to reach home, however, thanks to Clayton Kershaw’s speedy scoop-up of an infield bobbler hit by Christian Yelich. Kershaw’s quickness off the mound was surpassed by his faster throw to first for the final out of the frame.
Giants update: San Francisco, which has a magic number of two to clinch the NL West title, lead the San Diego Padres 2-0 in the first inning. A Giants win coupled by a Dodgers loss tonight would give San Francisco the division title.
End of the first: Dodgers 1, Brewers 0
Dodgers load up right-handers against Brewers starter Eric Lauer
The Dodgers will load up their lineup with right-handed hitters Friday against Brewers left-hander Eric Lauer.
Chris Taylor — not the left-handed-hitting Gavin Lux or Cody Bellinger — will start in center field. It’ll be Taylor’s first start in center field since Sept. 10 when he aggravated a neck injury that sidelined him for the next week. Taylor will bat seventh. He’s one of six right-handed batters in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Lauer, a former Padre, has dominated the Dodgers in his career, posting a 1.89 ERA in 47 2/3 innings across eight starts.
The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw in potentially his final start as a Dodger. Kershaw, a free agent after the season, wouldn’t start another game until the National League Division Series — if the Dodgers advance that far.
Dodgers beat writer Jorge Castillo, Angels beat writer Jack Harris and baseball writers Mike DiGiovanna and Bill Shaikin discuss all things related to the defending World Series champions.
The Dodgers begin Friday two games behind the first-place Giants with three games left, putting them in line to host the wild-card game against the Cardinals on Wednesday. The Padres need to beat the Giants at least twice in three games for Los Angeles to have a chance to win the division. If the clubs finish tied, they’d play a Game 163 at Oracle Park on Monday.
If the Dodgers end up playing in Wednesday’s wild-card game, Kershaw wouldn’t pitch again until he starts Game 2 of the NLDS against the Giants unless he comes of the bullpen against St. Louis.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Trea Turner 2B
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
AJ Pollock LF
Chris Taylor CF
Austin Barnes C
Clayton Kershaw P
Dodgers to present Miguel Vargas, Hyun-Il Choi with minor league awards
The Dodgers named infielder Miguel Vargas as this season’s Branch Rickey minor league player of the year and right-hander Hyun-Il Choi as the minor league pitcher of the year. The prospects will be presented with their awards in a pregame ceremony tonight in Dodger Stadium.
Vargas, 21, hit .319 (154 for 483) with 23 homers and 76 RBIs in 120 games for Class-A Great Lakes and double-A Tulsa. The Cuban native, who signed with the Dodgers in 2017, was promoted to Tulsa on June 6 and ranked third in average (.321), sixth in on-base percentage (.478) and third in on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.909) among qualified double-A batters.
Choi, a native of South Korea, went 8-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 24 games, striking out 106 in 106 1/3 innings, for low-A Rancho Cucamonga and advanced-A Great Lakes. He went 8-3 with a 3.17 ERA at Rancho Cucamonga and 0-3 with a 4.17 ERA at Great Lakes.
ICYMI: Dodgers sweep Padres for 103rd win of season, but still remain behind Giants
The Dodgers completed their third straight series sweep of the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, discarding their once competitive foes aside like the dismal sub-.500 team they’ve become in an 8-3 victory.
It was their 103rd win of the season — tied for fifth most in franchise history — with three games remaining. An undefeated finish and they’d match the franchise record set two years ago.
The problem is the San Francisco Giants have been even better, leaving the Dodgers as quite possibly the best second-place team since divisions were implemented in 1969.
Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Betting odds, lines and analysis
The Dodgers, who enter their three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers with 11 home runs in their last two games, look to Clayton Kershaw on Friday to try to keep their NL West division title hopes alive.
Kershaw is making his fourth start since coming off the injured list in September, going 13.2 innings with a 3.29 ERA in three starts. The team has gone 2-1 in those starts.
Eric Lauer will start for Milwaukee on Friday, and the Brewers are 7-3 in his last 10 starts. He has a 2.66 road ERA with opponents hitting .209 off of him away from Milwaukee.
Despite Lauer’s recent success, the Dodgers opened at DraftKings as -240 favorites but got bet down all the way to -200 before the line went back to -225 overnight with the opening total of 7.5 going as high as 8.5 before the difference was split at eight overnight.
Lauer spent his first two seasons with the San Diego Padres and is 6-0 lifetime with a 1.89 ERA against the Dodgers.
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