The Milwaukee Brewers ran into outs. They gave away outs defensively.
Neither of those is a good thing to do when facing two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Doing both usually results in what happened at Miller Park Sunday, a 5-1 loss to end a 4-2 homestand.
Kershaw (14-2) won his 11th straight decision, allowing just a run on six hits in eight innings, and the Brewers couldn’t capitalize on getting the leadoff runner on base four times in the first five innings against the All-Star lefty, getting just one run out of those opportunities.
Milwaukee (65-53) ran into two outs in the third inning alone. Jimmy Nelson led off with a double and ran right into a tag when Carlos Gomez hit a ground ball to short. Gomez then got himself picked off first.
Ryan Braun had singled and moved up to second on a wild pitch in the fourth. When another pitch got away from catcher A.J. Ellis, Braun went for third and was called safe. But the call was overturned after Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged.
Milwaukee’s only run came in the first. Gomez led off with a walk and stole second before scoring on Braun’s single to left.
The Dodgers (67-52) tied it in the third against Nelson (2-3). Miguel Rojas led off with a bunt single and Kershaw was hit by a pitch. After Dee Gordon hit into a force play that erased Rojas at third, Carl Crawford loaded the bases with a single and Adrian Gonzalez scored Kershaw with a sacrifice fly.
L.A. went up in the fifth. Gonzalez lined a one-out double to right and scored on Matt Kemp’s base hit.
Nelson hung in there against Kershaw, allowing just two runs on eight hits in six innings, walking one and striking out three.
The Dodgers got some help taking a 3-1 lead in the seventh. Crawford singled to center and reliever Tom Gorzelanny tried to pick him off first. But Gorzelanny’s throw was wild and Crawford wound up on third after first baseman Mark Reynolds retrieved the first errant throw and followed it with a bad toss of his own to second base.
Gonzalez then lofted a double to the wall in center to plate Crawford.
Right-hander Marco Estrada came on to start the eighth and served up his major-league leading 28th home run when Ellis turned around a fastball and drove it into the Brewer bullpen in left-center. It was the first homer of the season for Ellis, who came into the game hitting just .188.
Rojas followed with a double down the left-field line and scored when Kershaw slapped a line drive single to left.
Gorzelanny was charged with an unearned run on two hits while retiring just one batter. Brandon Kintzler got the final two outs of the seventh. Estrada was touched for two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts over the final two frames.
Braun was 2-for-4 to pace Milwaukee’s six-hit attack, while Aramis Ramirez was 0-for-4, snapping his 11-game hitting streak.
Rojas had the first three-hit game of his career for the Dodgers, who pounded out 14 hits.
The Brewers’ lead in the National League Central was trimmed to two games over the St. Louis Cardinals, who leapfrogged the Pittsburgh Pirates back into second place with an 8-3 win at Baltimore. The Pirates remained 2 ½ games back after losing to the Padres at home 8-2.
Milwaukee opens a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Monday at 7:05 p.m., with right-hander Yovani Gallardo (6-6, 3.54 ERA) facing off against right-hander Jake Arrieta (6-3, 2.80 ERA). The Brewers are 5-4 against the Cubs this season and will play them 10 more times over the next seven weeks.