MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Milwaukee clubhouse was quiet at home for the first time in more than two weeks. Still, it was hard for any of the Brewers to be overly disappointed.
Clayton Kershaw throttled the streaking Brewers with eight scoreless innings and Rod Barajas homered Thursday, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-1 win and snapping Milwaukee's six-game winning streak.
``We won the series. We won three out of four. We swept the Pirates. I'm really happy with the homestand,' catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. ``We're not going to win out the rest of the year. We're still going to lose games. Even though we got beat today, we got beat by a pretty good pitcher.'
The NL Central-leading Brewers came in winners of 19 of 21. Despite the loss, they are 6 1/2 games ahead of idle St. Louis after moving from third place to comfortably in first with six weeks left in the season.
The Brewers play their next 10 games against teams under .500 before a matchup with the Cardinals at the end of the month.
``We're a real team now,' first baseman Prince Fielder said. ``The record's going to be fine because with the talent we have, we're going to win. So as long as we're together as a team, you're usually going in the right direction.'
Kershaw (15-5) was tremendous, retiring 13 of his final 14 batters and never facing serious trouble after the third inning. He scattered five hits and struck out six.
``We had a great homestand,' Fielder said. ``It doesn't feel too bad when you lose to a guy like that, All-Star, potential Cy Young winner.'
Barajas hit a solo homer in the second.
Los Angeles built a 5-0 lead by scoring twice in the seventh and two more in the eight, the first runs allowed by Milwaukee's bullpen in the last 10 games.
Marco Estrada (3-8) pitched well in his second spot start for injured left-hander Chris Narveson, but was frustrated that he couldn't last longer than five innings.
The Brewers' best opportunity against Kershaw came in the third. With runners on the corners and one out, Jerry Hairston grounded into a double play - Josh Wilson, who was on the third, broke home on the pitch and was already halfway to the plate.
Hairston could be seen asking, ``Why was he running?' after the botched squeeze sign that manager Ron Roenicke called a miscommunication. Hairston also doubled off Kershaw with one out in the sixth, but Ryan Braun and Fielder each hit harmless fly balls.
``Except for today's game, we're playing great,' Roenicke said. ``We're going to have these games. I'm not that concerned about it.'
NOTES: Fielder hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth. ... Roenicke said Narveson (thumb) may not be ready to start a doubleheader in Pittsburgh on Aug. 22 when he's eligible to return from the 15-day DL. RHP Zack Greinke is scheduled to pitch the first game while the second starter could be Narveson, RHP Frankie De La Cruz or a Triple-A pitcher such as RHP Wily Peralta. ... The Brewers begin a three-game series at the Mets on Friday with RHP Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.50 ERA) facing RHP Mike Pelfrey (6-9, 4.53).
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved