Brewers bullpen holds on to top Dodgers
Mike Burns (2-2) struck out a career-high seven and drove in a run to win for the second time in his career, but he needed four scoreless innings from relievers Seth McClung, Todd Coffey and Hoffman after the bullpen had blown one-run leads in each of the past two games.
Frank Catalanotto homered for the Brewers. Rafael Furcal and Andre Ethier hit back-to-back shots for the Dodgers (55-32), who are 5-3 on their nine-game trip and will have the best mark in the majors at the All-Star break regardless of what happens Sunday.
Manny Ramirez went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to five games a night after tying Yankees great Mickey Mantle on the career home run list at 536.
The Brewers, losers of seven of 10, are two games behind St. Louis in the NL Central. Hoffman blew a save chance for just the second time in Friday night's 12-8 extra-innings loss to the Dodgers.
On Saturday night, Coffey struck out the side in the eighth with Milwaukee leading 4-3 and Hardy came through in the bottom of the inning.
Hardy's double off Guillermo Mota drove in Prince Fielder, who went 2 for 3 and had an RBI single in the first, and Mike Cameron to provide room for Hoffman. The career saves leader had a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 20th this year.
The RBI single by Burns proved to be the one Milwaukee needed most after Dodgers starter Jeff Weaver (5-3) allowed four straight hits to start the fourth.
With Milwaukee leading 2-0, Catalanotto led off with a homer to right field, his first since April 21, 2008. Hardy tripled and scored when Burns singled to make it 4-0.
Los Angeles answered in the fifth.
After Matt Kemp singled, Furcal homered with two outs and Ethier hit his second homer in as many nights to make it 4-3, but Burns got out of the inning by forcing Ramirez to pop up and didn't return for the sixth.
Ramirez is 8 of 26 with three homers, nine RBIs and six runs in eight games since returning from his 50-game drug suspension.
An error by Furcal at short ended up costing Weaver two unearned runs in the first. Craig Counsell tripled, but was caught between third and home after Ryan Braun's sharply hit grounder. Furcal's throw to the plate went through the legs of Russell Martin, allowing Counsell to score easily and letting Braun take second. Fielder made it 2-0 with his single.
NOTES: Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Dodgers RHP Chad Billingsley will likely pitch an inning in the All-Star game on Tuesday. Torre plans to use LHP Randy Wolf in the first game back Thursday against Houston and Billingsley on Friday. ... Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton (toe) likely will have to skip his first All-Star game on Tuesday because of his injury. ... Brewers manager Ken Macha said he'll use RHP Braden Looper at Cincinnati on Thursday and RHP Jeff Suppan on Friday.
Last updated: 10:58 am Thursday, December 13, 2012