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Hardy leads Brewers to 10th inning win over Dodgers

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Associated Press
August 17, 2008
— J.J. Hardy had a run-scoring single with two outs in the 10th inning to make up for a costly error in the ninth and give the Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.

Hardy hit a two-run homer in the eighth to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead, made a fielding error in the ninth that led to the Dodgers' tying run, then hit a go-ahead single to right field off Jonathon Broxton (3-4) after Ray Durham walked with two outs and stole second.


The loss ended the Dodgers' five-game winning streak.


Milwaukee's Solomon Torres (6-3) pitched the ninth, when the Dodgers tied it with an unearned run provided by Manny Ramirez's sacrifice fly.


In the 10th, Los Angeles stranded runners on first and second when David Riske struck out Ramirez for the final out.


The Brewers moved back within 4 1/2 games of the NL Central Division-leading Chicago Cubs and remained two games ahead of St. Louis in the wild-card race. The Dodgers dropped out of a tie for first in the West with Arizona, which beat Houston 11-5.


With Milwaukee up 3-2 after Hardy's homer, Brian Shouse came on in the ninth to face left-hand hitting Andre Ethier. He walked him and was replaced by Torres. Jeff Kent hit a grounder toward the middle that went under Hardy's glove at short, allowing Kent to go to third.


Ramirez followed with his fly to right field.


Hardy's homer, his 18th, came off Hong-Chih Kuo.


Former Los Angeles closer Eric Gagne, on the mound in Dodger Stadium for the first time since he left for Texas as a free agent after the 2006 season, was booed roundly when he came in for the Brewers in the eighth. He set the Dodgers down in order in his only inning.


Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, out the past six games with a sore lower back, pinch-hit for starter Dave Bush leading off the eighth and doubled down the right-field line. He moved to third on Durham's fly to right, then Hardy drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left.


Kuo started the eighth in relief of Derek Lowe, who had held the Brewers to one run and eight hits in his seven innings. Bush gave up two runs in the first on Ethier's home run, then held Los Angeles scoreless for the next six innings.


After falling behind by two, the Brewers got a run in the second inning on Mike Cameron's RBI single.


Ethier, just the second batter Bush faced, gave the Dodgers a two-run lead with his shot to right-center for his 13th homer. Matt Kemp had led off with a double down the line just inside third base.


The Brewers' defense had helped keep them in the game. Cameron made a sliding catch of a low liner to center by James Loney in the seventh inning, then a diving grab of pinch-hitter Juan Pierre's liner to left-center in the eighth. Later that inning, Gabe Kapler leaped high above the short fence near the left-field pole to rob Russell Martin of a home run. Kapler tumbled into the seats, but held his glove high to show he still had the ball.


Earlier, Milwaukee right fielder Corey Hart and Hardy made fine catches. In the second inning, Hart ran full speed toward the fence in right-center, made an over-the-shoulder grab of Casey Blake's deep drive, then held on as he went crashing into the wall. In the fourth, Hardy dived and snared Loney's hard grounder up the middle and recovered quickly enough to flip the ball to Kent and force a runner at second.


Notes: Craig Counsell got the 1,000th hit of his career. ... Ramirez made his first error in 15 games h gave Talking about the way the Dodgers' improved play recently, Joe Torre said Ramirez has provided more than just an offensive boost. "I think he added to the levity of this group," the Dodgers' manager said. ... The two runs Bush off Bush in the first inning matched the total against him in his previous two starts. He went seven innings in an 8-1 win over Cincinnati on Aug. 5, then pitched 6 1-3 innings in a 7-1 victory over Washington last Monday.



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