Sports

Dodgers' mound of trouble grows in 6-3 loss to Brewers

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The Brewers' Ryan Braun slides to score a run during the Brewers' five-run eighth inning against the Dodgers. KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers, in cruising altitude on their way to the playoffs, seem to have encountered some pitching turbulence this month.

Hyun-Jin Ryu joined Josh Beckett on the disabled list Friday, just before Zack Greinke took the mound against Milwaukee. That’s Greinke, for whom getting outs has seemed to be an escalating challenge.

Greinke was the least of the Dodgers’ woes Friday night. He labored through five shutout innings and battled control issues, but pitched well enough to win. He didn’t, because for a second consecutive game, the Dodgers’ bullpen wobbled in a 6-3 loss to Milwaukee in front of 47,272 at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead into the eighth, but the Brewers scored five times. Pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay delivered the big blow, with a two-out, three-run double to give the Brewers a 5-2 lead.

Matt Kemp’s eighth-inning sacrifice fly scored Yasiel Puig and made it a two-run game, but Scooter Gennett added a ninth-inning RBI single. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for the save.

The Dodgers thus wasted the efforts of Greinke and Puig, whose RBI singles in the first and fifth innings had given the Dodgers a 2-0 lead that held up until the eighth.

Jamey Wright (4-3) started the eighth inning, but gave up a RBI single to Gennett and a tying RBI double to Khris Davis, and left the game with the bases loaded. In came Brandon League, who struck out pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks for the second out, but then allowed Overbay’s three-run double.

“They did get to (Wright) there,” said Manager Don Mattingly, who added that relievers Kenley Jansen and Brian Wilson were unavailable Friday because of recent use. “He’d been throwing the ball really well. He’d been asked a lot of by us, recently.”

So, the Dodgers lost on several fronts Friday. They lost the game, they lost Ryu – even though his strained gluteal muscle isn’t expected to be a long-term problem – and they even lost third baseman Juan Uribe, who left the game in the seventh inning with a sore right hamstring.

All of that surrounded a head-scratching effort from Greinke, who allowed only the two early hits and struck out six but walked five. That’s odd, if only because even though he’d been hit hard in his previous two starts, he allowed only one walk in 13 innings.

“Just a lot of pitches,” Mattingly said. “When you see a guy come back a second time against a team he just pitched against, I’m sure he tried to change the game plan a little bit. … He was obviously trying to hit the edges a little bit.”

Statistically, these should be Greinke’s golden days. August and September are historically his best months. Last season, Greinke had a 3.43 ERA through July, then a 1.49 ERA in his last 11 starts.

Getting Greinke back to normal would be a major boost for the Dodgers, who have a healthy division lead over San Francisco but would prefer to avoid a September battle, particularly with Ryu now out.

Ryu (13-6, 3.28 ERA) went on the 15-day disabled list after an MRI and an evaluation by Dr. Neal ElAttrache revealed (apparently mild) strains of gluteal and hip muscles on his right side.

“This is not an injury that (doctors have) seen a whole lot of,” Mattingly said before the game. “The timetable will kind of be determined as we go.”

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