Brewers: Bullpen falters late in loss to Dodgers


The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t had a lot of bright spots in a first half that saw them quickly get buried in the National League Central basement.

But the bullpen in the late innings was one of those bright spots … until Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

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Left-hander Will Smith surrendered a two-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers took a 4-3 win from the Brewers to close the first half of the season.

The Crew heads into the break with a 38-52 record—their worst at the All-Star break since they were 38-56 two years ago.

Last year, Milwaukee was 53-43 at the break and held a one-game lead in the NL Central. They trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 18½ games this time around.

The loss spoiled a decent outing by right-hander Kyle Lohse, who struck out six and allowed two runs on four hits in five innings.

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The Brewers got on the board in the top of the first when newly minted All-Star Ryan Braunselected Sunday to replace Cardinals’ left fielder Matt Holliday in Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati—hit his 16th homer of the season to right-center field for a 1-0 lead.

The Dodgers (51-39) came back to tie it in the bottom of the inning when Jimmy Rollins led off with a double and later scored on a single by Justin Turner.

The Brewers rode the long ball to a 2-1 lead in the third when Hernan Perez connected for his first major-league home run off left-hander Brett Anderson.

Milwaukee made it 3-1 in the top of the fourth. Adam Lind, Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura led off the inning with consecutive singles to load the bases and Lind scored on Perez’s fielder’s choice grounder to second base.

Ramirez was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Lohse’s comebacker to Anderson and Khris Davis grounded out to end the threat.

A.J. Ellis homered in the fifth, his second of the year, to close the Brewers’ lead to 3-2.

In the eighth, Howie Kendrick led off with a single off right-hander Jeremy Jeffress and manager Craig Counsell brought in Smith to face Gonzalez.

Gonzalez hit an 0-2 slider over the wall in right-center to give Los Angeles the lead. It was the first homer allowed by Smith (4-1) this season.

Milwaukee had been 30-0 this season when leading after seven innings.

“We had the matchups we wanted,” Counsell told “But that’s the game. You put one of your best guys against one of their best guys and you watch the matchup.”

Reliever Pedro Baez (2-1) got the win after pitching a 1-2-3 eighth. Kenley Jansen retired the side in order in the ninth to get his 16th save.

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  • Braun, named to his franchise-record sixth All-Star Game, was 2-for-4 as Milwaukee finished with eight hits.

    The Brewers will be off for the next four days as the All-Star festivities go on Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati, with the Home Run Derby on Monday and the actual Midsummer Classic Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

    Milwaukee returns to action Friday, hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m. at Miller Park. Right-hander Mike Fiers (4-7, 3.96 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Brewers, while Pittsburgh has not yet announced its second-half rotation.

    Fiers is 2-4 lifetime against the Pirates in eight appearances, six of them starts, with a 6.12 ERA and 1.206 WHIP in 32.1 innings, striking out 41 and allowing 10 home runs. He lost his only start this season against Pittsburgh, allowing five runs on seven hits in five innings in a 6-2 loss on April 10 at Miller Park.

    Fiers gave up four runs on four hits in six innings in his last start Wednesday against the Braves.

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