Los Angeles (9-2) at Milwaukee (5-6)

Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Mon Apr 18, 2005
  • TV: FSN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Dodgers own the best record in the majors. Great starting pitching is a big reason why.

Odalis Perez looks to continue Los Angeles’ mastery on the mound when he shoots for his third win in as many starts in the opener of a two-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

Perez, who went just 7-6 despite a 3.25 ERA in 31 starts last season due mainly to poor run support, is off to a perfect 2-0 start this year. The crafty left-hander has allowed just two runs and 10 hits over 11 1-3 innings, spearheading a strong starting staff for Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, Perez yielded a run and four hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out five without a walk, to pick up a 4-1 victory over San Francisco. Thus far, the Dodgers have scored 14 runs for Perez.

“We have guys who can put the ball in play,” Perez said. “We’re scoring runs, our pitching is doing the job. This year will be different. I’ve never heard of a pitcher who had 18 no-decisions two straight years.”

The Dodgers extended their winning streak to a season-high five games Sunday behind the fourth consecutive strong performance by a starter. Jeff Weaver tossed a five-hitter for his fourth career shutout as Los Angeles blanked San Diego 6-0, completing a three-game sweep.

Since Perez shut down the Giants, Derek Lowe pitched a three-hitter Thursday, Scott Erickson tossed six strong innings to pick up his first win as a Dodgers before Weaver’s stellar effort Sunday.

“I think all of us as starters are trying to outdo each other. That’s what keeps us competitive and keeps us throwing well,” Weaver said after reducing the team’s ERA to 3.55. “We know what kind of starting staff we have, and we know we can get deep in the game and keep us close. I hope somebody’s trying to outdo me next time.”

The Brewers, who began the season with three straight wins, have dropped six of eight since, including Sunday’s 3-2 setback at St. Louis, completing a three-game sweep by the Cardinals.

Brady Clark homered and Damian Miller doubled and scored for Milwaukee, which has been held to two runs or fewer four times since its season-opening win streak.

“We’re really not swinging the bats right now,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “We couldn’t muster any offense. We’re not finding any holes and not picking up any hits. We’re not producing runs right now.”

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Starting Pitchers

O. Perez Was vs. C. Capuano NYY
7-8 Record 18-12
4.56 ERA 3.99
74 K 176
28 BB 91
1.26 WHIP 1.38