Brewers 3, Dodgers 1
MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Milwaukee Brewers don’t think of themselves as a team that has to manufacture runs.
They’re quite good at it, though.
They managed just one earned run on five hits Thursday but still beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 behind Ben Sheets’ solid seven innings of work, an effective bullpen and an offense that’s as opportunistic as it is anemic.
“I’ve pitched here in the past three years and it’s not like we’ve knocked the cover off the ball in any of those, so you get kind of used to it,” Sheets said.
“These (hitters) picked us up the whole first month. It’s about time for us to carry a little bit of the load,” he said.
In their last nine games, the Brewers have managed just 24 runs but have won six times.
They took two of three from the Dodgers at home for the first time since April 1998 despite going 2-for-25 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-5 Thursday.
They scored all the runs they’d need on shortstop Cesar Izturis’s two-run throwing error in the first inning about 14 hours after third baseman Adrian Beltre’s throwing error allowed the winning run to score in the Brewers’ 2-1 win in 12 innings.
“They got a little today, they got very little last night,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “We pitched extremely well for three days. We pitched about as well as you can pitch.”
So did the Brewers, especially their bullpen, which allowed one run in 15 innings for a 0.60 ERA.
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost doesn’t expect his pitchers, who have posted a 3.41 ERA in May, to keep getting such little margin for error, however.
“There’s going to come a time when our hitters are going to have to pick up our pitchers,” Yost said, listing off his batters who have yet to get going: Scott Podsednik, Geoff Jenkins, Junior Spivey, to name a few.
Sheets (5-3) didn’t walk a batter for the sixth time this year and he struck out eight as Milwaukee (24-21) again made the most of very little offense to go three games above .500 for the first time since June 25, 2001, when the Brewers were 38-35.
“He’s one of the best pitchers in the league, and when you mix that with an offense that’s been struggling, that’s a bad combination for us,” slumping slugger Shawn Green said after the Dodgers lost for the 11th time in 13 games.
Sheets allowed one run on four hits to outdo Jeff Weaver (3-6), who allowed just three hits, walked four and struck out eight over seven strong innings but was charged with two unearned runs in the first when the Dodgers made two errors.
The Brewers loaded the bases after Podsednik’s franchise record streak of 23 straight steals, including 22 this season, was snapped when David Ross threw him out trying to swipe second base. Weaver got Keith Ginter to chop a ground ball to short, but Izturis overthrew first, allowing two runs to score.
Beltre’s game-costing error the night before came on a sacrifice bunt by Ginter, who was plucked in the buttocks on his way to first, allowing the winning run to score.
“The way we’ve been swinging the bat, we’ll take runs any way we can,” Ginter said. “I think there’s a lot of guys in the lineup not feeling good at the plate. So, we’re trying to do little things, get a walk, an error, whatever it takes to get some guys on base and make something happen.”
Milton Bradley’s seventh homer, a 420-foot shot off Sheets leading off the seventh, cut the Dodgers’ deficit to 2-1.
Podsednik then gave the Brewers a 3-1 lead with his fifth homer leading off the eighth against reliever Tom Martin. Dan Kolb pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
“It shows that we’re executing even though we’re not hitting the ball around the yard,” Brewers infielder Bill Hall said. “When everybody’s not hitting, those are things you’ve got to do. You’ve got to steal bases, bunt, get guys in scoring position. Then get a hit after that or hopefully they’ll make an error or something just to push some runs across.”
Brewers RHP Chris Capuano is day-to-day after a muscle in his pitching arm cramped in the fifth inning Wednesday night. … Dodgers OF Dave Roberts rejoined the team after a two-day rehab stint at Class A Vero Beach. LosAngeles was 8-12 during his absence with a strained right hamstring.
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