Sun. Final: Dodgers 7, Brewers 4
By Todd Welter
Next game: Thursday, July 16 at Cincinnati
The All-Star break could not be coming at a better time for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers struggles continued in a 7-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park. Manny Ramirez led the Dodgers offensive attack with a 3-for-3 day at the plate along with two runs. Orlando Hudson hit solo home runs in the sixth and eighth inning as the Brewers have now lost eight of their last 11 games heading into the All-Star break.
Since being a season's best 11 games over .500 in mid-May, the Brewers (45-43) have gone 20-29 and have won only six series during that stretch. A nice little break could be what this team needs to snap out of their funk.
"I wouldn't call the club tired but I think everyone does welcome the three days off and they will be refreshed and ready to go," Brewers manager Ken Macha felt.
One of the reasons for the tough times is the starting pitching not being able to go deep into games and the inconsistency of the offense--both of which were on display in this loss.
Yovani Gallardo struggled on the mound for the second straight start. Gallardo (8-7) took the loss as he lasted just five innings, gave up five runs, six hits, walked four and struck out three. Although some of his struggles can be attributed to the fact that he has not gotten a lick of run support in his last three starts. The Brewers have yet to score a run for Gallardo in his last three mound appearances.
"My command was off again today," Gallardo explained. "Something mechanically is a little off."
Gallardo gave up two runs in the first when he walked Rafael Furcal to start the game and gave up a one-out double to Ramirez. James Loney drove them both in with a single although he only got credit for one-RBI as Ramirez came home on Mike Cameron's fielding error.
Gallardo surrendered another run in the fourth when Brad Ausmus took Gallardo yard for his first home run of the year. The Dodgers scored two more runs off Gallardo in the fifth.
Things sort of went to plan in how the Brewers' bats were going to approach Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. The idea was to take advantage of his penchant for being a little bit wild. While Kershaw did have five walks, he did not throw a whole lot of hittable pitches as he gave up just two hits in six-plus innings for work.
Kershaw (7-5) got the win as he gave up just one run and struck out four. He started the game off shaky as he loaded the bases in the bottom of the first but he escaped the jam by striking out Cameron. He then cruised from that point as he retired 14 of the next 17 batters he faced.
"He kind of escaped where Yovani didn't," Macha commented.
Kershaw finally yielded a run in the seventh as he gave up a leadoff double to Cameron. Kershaw was pulled after that as Hiroki Kuroda came on in relief.
Kuroda promptly gave up a RBI-double to Bill Hall and Hall eventually came home on Jody Gerut's pinch-hit sacrifice fly.
The Brewers did tack on two more runs in the eighth on Casey McGehee's RBI-double to left and he plated a run on Cameron's sacrifice fly.
The rally was too little, too late as Ron Troncoso picked up his fifth save of the year by sealing up the Dodgers' (56-32) victory in the ninth. He did give up a pair of one-out singles but he got Corey Hart and Ryan Braun to fly out to end the game.