|Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to the plate during the first inning of their baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)|
Brewers beat Dodgers 6-2 to complete 4-game sweep
LOS ANGELES—Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez each hit a two-run homer, Zack Greinke pitched effectively for six innings and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 on Thursday night to complete a four-game sweep.
The Brewers played without NL MVP Ryan Braun, who was scratched because of tightness in his right Achilles tendon. He first experienced it on May 1 at San Diego, when he hurt himself sliding into second base a day after hitting three home runs against the Padres, and has been playing through it ever since.
The Dodgers also played without their No. 3 hitter, Matt Kemp, and will be without the slugger for at least a month. The All-Star center fielder, who was runner-up to Braun in last year's MVP voting, was placed on the 15-day disabled list after re-injuring his left hamstring Wednesday night while running the bases in his second game back from the disabled list.
Greinke (7-2) allowed a run and nine hits in his Dodger Stadium debut, striking out seven and walking one. The nine-year veteran, who surrendered seven runs and 10 hits over 2 1-3 innings in an 8-5 loss last Saturday at Arizona, allowed at least one hit in every inning he pitched and stranded eight baserunners. It was the fourth time in his last five starts that he allowed fewer than two runs.
The Brewers won the season series 6-1 for their best record against the Dodgers since shifting from the AL to the NL in 1998. They are the first visiting team to sweep a four-game series at Dodger Stadium since August 1993.
Chad Billingsley (2-4) struck out eight in six innings for Los Angeles, but yielded four runs and six hits. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.13 ERA over his last nine starts, a stretch that began with a no-decision at Milwaukee after he beat San Diego and Pittsburgh in his first two outings.
This is the longest winless drought of Billingsley's seven-year career. He was 0-5 with a 5.08 ERA in his final seven starts of 2009, and last season went 0-1 with a 4.78 ERA during another seven-game stretch.
The Brewers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Rickie Weeks hit an RBI single and Taylor Green scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Martin Maldonado.
Billingsley got one of the runs back in the bottom half, driving in Jerry Hairston Jr. with a two-out single for his first RBI of the season. But Greinke minimized the damage, throwing a called third strike past A.J. Ellis with the bases loaded, and Ramirez increased Milwaukee's margin to 4-1 in the third with a two-run homer to left on an 0-2 pitch.
Billingsley retired the first two batters in the fifth before plunking Corey Hart, who was 0 for 14 lifetime against him before that plate appearance. A single by Ramirez and a walk to Green loaded the bases, but the 27-year-old from Defiance, Ohio escaped the jam by retiring Weeks on a popup.
NOTES: Billingsley also hit Edwin Maysonet on the right wrist in the sixth. ... Ellis became the ninth different player Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has used in the second spot in the batting order this season, and the fourth in the last four games. He was 2 for 5. ... The only other road series the Brewers have won this season was their first one, when they took three of four against the Cubs. ... Milwaukee CF Nyjer Morgan is 0 for 18 with runners in scoring position. Last season he batted .313 in those situations (25 for 80) with 35 RBIs. ... LHP Chris Capuano will attempt to become the first Dodgers starting pitcher to begin a season 8-1 since Brad Penny's 13-1 start in 2007, when he goes up against Colorado LHP Josh Outman on Friday night in the opener of a 10-game road trip. ... Greinke's next scheduled start is next Wednesday against the Cubs, when he will attempt to improve his career record at Miller Park to 15-0.