MILWAUKEE (AP) - Dodgers shortstop Justin Sellers realizes his time with the club may be fleeting when highly-regarded prospect Dee Gordon returns from an injury. The rookie is leaving a lasting impression in the meantime.
Sellers made two fantastic defensive plays to keep the Milwaukee Brewers from early runs, but the Los Angeles Dodgers' offense sputtered again in a 3-1 loss on Wednesday night.
``He's fun to watch,' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ``He's got some skills. He's got range. He's not afraid. He's not going to be afraid out there.'
Sellers ended the first inning after starting a double play off a hard grounder by Prince Fielder. He made a diving catch of Ryan Braun's liner with the bases loaded and one out in the third that turned into another easy double play.
``I just kind of make plays, you know?' the 25-year-old Sellers said. ``I got that double play on Prince. That line drive with the bases loaded, I just laid out, you know, because that's what I got to do.'
Gordon is out with a bruised right shoulder, but is expected to return when he's eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list next week.
Sellers made his major league debut on Friday, had his first hit on Saturday and first homer on Sunday, but his defense was on display against the Brewers. The only play he couldn't make was on a grounder that started scoring in the sixth.
Milwaukee got to Dodgers rookie Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) after he loaded the bases with one out.
Eovaldi forced Yuniesky Betancourt to pop up for the second out, but Hairston's bouncer up the middle was just out of the reach Sellers to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
``He got himself a couple of times into jams. He got out of them. Unfortunately, he couldn't get out of the last one. He gave us a chance. That's all we can ask,' Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro said. ``He made a good pitch to Hairston. He hit a groundball. It just happened to find a hole. That's part of the game.'
Hairston's two-out single helped Zack Greinke (12-4) become the first Brewers pitcher in franchise history to win his first nine home decisions with the club. Greinke's only mistake came when Tony Gwynn Jr. homered in the seventh. Greinke won his fifth straight start and the NL Central-leading Brewers won for the 19th time in 21 games.
Eovaldi was appreciative of Sellers' defensive handiwork, and Mattingly were happy with the 21-year-old right-hander's outing.
``Sellers, I can't say enough. He made a great play. Saved me twice,' Eovaldi said.
Los Angeles remains in an ugly rut on offense, something that's been a problem all season.
The Dodgers, who have two runs in three games here and failed to score at least two runs for the 37th time this season, loaded the bases with an out in the fourth and had two on and two out against Greinke in the sixth, but both times failed to score with each inning ending on a groundout by Navarro.
``No question. We've struggled kind of all year, but we don't want to take anything away from these guys and what they can do. I've seen Zack do it to a pretty good lineup over there in New York when he was with Kansas City as a 20-year-old, I think. He can do things with the baseball,' Mattingly said. ``Our lack of offense has been fairly standard, but we know these guys can pitch a little bit. They've been doing it not only against us, but they've been doing it against a lot of teams.'
NOTES: It was Gwynn's first homer this season. ... Dodgers 3B Casey Blake (right shoulder pain) left in the sixth after he strained on a throw to first. ...Dodgers RHP Kenley Jensen (irregular heartbeat) will make a rehab appearance with the Dodgers' Class-A affiliate in Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. ... Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (3-7, 4.46 ERA) will start against Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-5, 2.72) in Thursday's finale of this series
The Associated Press News Service
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