The Milwaukee Brewers jumped on former Brewer Jamey Wright en route to a five-run eighth inning, paving the way for a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Francisco Rodriguez earned his 37th save in 41 chances this season and moved into a tie with Hall of Famer and former Brewer Rollie Fingers for 11th on baseball’s all-time list. Rodriguez is now six saved behind 10th-place Randy Myers.
The Brewers (68-55) trailed 2-0 before batting around in the eighth and hanging five runs on Wright, who pitched in Milwaukee in 2000 and 2001.
Ryan Braun started things with a one-out infield single and Aramis Ramirez followed with a line single to left. Scooter Gennett grounded a base hit to right to score Braun and cut the deficit to 2-1. Khris Davis followed with a double to right-center field that scored Ramirez and tied the game.
After Wright (4-3) intentionally walked Mark Reynolds, the Dodgers summoned right-hander Brandon League, who struck out pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks before Lyle Overbay, also up in a pinch-hitting role, lashed a double down the left-field line to clear the bases.
Gordon—who leads the majors with 56 stolen bases—then swiped second, advancing to third when Jonathan Lucroy’s throw tailed into center field.
Yasiel Puig then grounded a single to left to drive in the run.
That combination produced another run in the fifth. Nelson hit pinch-hitter Darwin Barney to lead off the inning and Gordon replaced him at first after grounding into a force play.
Gordon stole second and scored when Puig grounded a single up the middle.
It wasn’t as if the Brewers didn’t have their chances against Dodgers starter Zach Greinke.
Lucroy and Ramirez reached with first inning singled, but Gennett bounced out to end the threat. In the fourth, Greinke got uncharacteristically wild, walking Davis, Mark Reynolds and Jean Segura with two outs to load the bases before striking out Nelson.
But Greinke’s pitch count got inflated by his wild fourth and he came out after five innings having allowed just the two hits and striking out six while walking five.
Nelson was also solid, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings, walking one and fanning four.
Brandon Kintzler (2-3) worked the seventh, allowing a single to Gordon. Lucroy gained some measure of revenge by throwing out Gordon while he attempted to steal.
Milwaukee came up with an insurance run in the ninth. Lucroy led off with a double over Matt Kemp’s head in right field and moved up to third on Braun’s fluout.
After right-hander Carlos Frias walked Ramirez intentionally, Gennett singled to left to drive in Lucroy.
That came after Los Angeles had scored in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Kemp after Puig led off the inning with a double off left-hander Will Smith and moved to third on a wild pitch.
Kintzler allowed a hit in the inning he worked. Smith was charged with a run on a hit while striking out a pair in the eighth and Rodriguez set down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the ninth on just 11 pitches, fanning one.
Lucroy and Ramirez were each 2-for-4 and Gennett went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI.
Shortstop Segura had to leave the game in the middle of the seventh. Segura was hit in the hand by a throw from shortstop Miguel Rojas while attempting to break up a double play. Segura was called out on the plan because of interference.
The Brewers maintained their two-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central after the Cardinals beat the Padres 4-2. The Pittsburgh Pirates slide to 3½ games behind after losing at Washington.
Milwaukee sends right-hander Yovani Gallardo (7-6, 3.44 ERA) to the mound Saturday at 8:10 p.m. Central to take on defending NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (14-2, 1.78 ERA), who beat the Brewers at Miller Park on Sunday.