Dodgers 3, Brewers 2
Wolf allowed three hits in seven innings, Russell Martin hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Brewers 3-2 on Tuesday night to snap a season-high four-game losing streak.
Making his debut with the Dodgers at Milwaukee in the second game of the season, Wolf gave up a homer to Mench in the sixth inning that gave the Brewers a 4-3 victory.
“He hit a first-pitch slider for a two-run homer—that was the difference in the game,” Wolf recalled. “I’ve thought about that pitch for a long time.”
Mench was hitless in three at-bats in this game, grounding to third, second and short.
Wolf struggled at the start, as he often does, throwing 27 pitches in the first inning. He threw 72 in his last six innings.
“He did what he does well—move the ball around, change speeds,” said Martin, the Dodgers’ catcher. “It seems like he needs the first inning or two to settle in. He changes speeds really well. And he throws strikes.”
Wolf (6-3), making his 200th career start, walked three and struck out four before being relieved by Jonathan Broxton to start the eighth. Wolf is tied for the NL lead in victories, and is third in the league with 66 strikeouts.
Broxton worked a perfect eighth with two strikeouts, and Takashi Saito pitched the ninth for his 14th save. He has converted 24 straight save opportunities dating to last season.
Jeff Kent doubled to start the fourth, and Martin followed by hitting an 0-1 pitch from Ben Sheets (4-3) over the left-center field fence for his third homer to snap a 1-1 tie. The Dodgers didn’t have another baserunner after that, but it didn’t matter.
“It was just a fastball up in the zone, he gave it to me in a spot I could handle,” Martin said.
Martin, in his second big league season, has made quite an impression on Wolf.
“He’s awesome. He amazes me every day,” Wolf said. “For a young player who’s already established himself as one of the best catchers out there, he’s not complacent. He wants to get better.”
The Dodgers, who also lost four straight last month, scored an unearned run off Sheets in the second when Martin walked, stole second and scored on a single by Luis Gonzalez, who got a second chance when catcher Johnny Estrada dropped his foul popup.
Wolf had retired nine straight before walking Bill Hall with two outs in the sixth, and Estrada followed with an RBI double to drive in the final run of the game.
Sheets gave up four hits and three runs, two earned, in 6 1-3 innings, leaving because of a blister on his right middle finger. He walked one, struck out five and retired the last 10 batters he faced.
Sheets said he didn’t feel the blister before warming up to start the seventh.
“I haven’t had any problems like that as a professional,” he said, adding he didn’t know if the blister might cause him to miss his next start.
“Benny pitched great—kind of got a pitch up and in to Russell Martin,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “That two-run homer was the difference.”
Sheets had his three-game winning streak snapped. He has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last seven starts.
Chris Spurling relieved Sheets and retired all five batters he faced.
The Brewers have lost eight of their last 12, but have a 6 1/2 -game lead over Houston and the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
3B Tony Abreu went hitless in three at-bats in his big-league debut, and committed a throwing error on the game’s first play, allowing Weeks to get aboard. The Dodgers purchased his contract from Las Vegas and optioned LHP Hong-Chih Kuo to the Triple-A team. … The Brewers have used only 26 players so far this year—fewest in the majors. They used 49 last season to tie a team record. … Dodgers OF Juan Pierre beat out a bunt to open the bottom of the first, but was called out for running out of the baseline. … The Brewers dropped two popups for errors in the first two innings—by 1B Fielder in the first and Estrada in the second. … Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 10 games—longest by a Los Angeles player this season. … The attendance was 33,552—raising the season total at Dodger Stadium to 1,022,941 in 24 dates. The Dodgers lead the NL in average attendance, having drawn 44,476 fans per game.