Gonzalez's 2-run double lifts Dodgers over Brewers
LOS ANGELES After four straight losses with Josh Beckett on the mound, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally got a victory when he pitched — although Ronald Belisario got the decision.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out double in the seventh inning, Carl Crawford homered and the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5 on Friday night.
"It's just nice to be standing here talking to you guys after a win," Beckett said. "I don't really care who gets the win. That's something I haven't gotten a chance to do yet this year. I left a couple of pitches up, but the bats came alive there towards the end and the guys rallied."
Beckett allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking two. The no-decision left him 0-3 in five starts with a 4.75 ERA and eight home runs allowed — including Ryan Braun's seventh and Yuniesky Betancourt's fourth. Beckett is 2-6 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 starts since the Dodgers acquired the 32-year-old right-hander along with Crawford, Gonzalez and Punto in a nine-player trade on Aug. 25.
The only other time the three-time All-Star and 2003 World Series MVP was winless in his first five starts of a season was 2002, when he was 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA for the Marlins. This is the seventh time the 13-year veteran had an ERA of 4.00 or worse through his first five starts, including identical 7.22 figures in 2009 and 2010 with Boston.
"He's throwing the ball great and he's kept us in games," Gonzalez said. "We just haven't been able to get those extra runs to get him a W."
Justin Sellers greeted reliever Burke Badenhop (0-2) with a leadoff single in the seventh and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Jerry Hairston Jr. Nick Punto drew a four-pitch walk from Michael Gonzalez with two out, and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a drive off the glove of center fielder Carlos Gomez as Sellers and Punto scored to give Los Angeles a 5-4 lead.
"I was just looking for a fastball with two strikes," Gonzalez said. "He had walked Nick on four straight pitches, so I kind of felt a little uncomfortable going up there and swinging at the first pitch. I don't know if he was trying to go in or out what that last pitch or if he was going to try and throw it as hard as he could, but it was right down the middle. I was able to connect with it and luckily Gomez wasn't able to catch it."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said: "Gomie should make that play. He froze and then misread it when he reached up for it. We should have won the game. We just didn't make a play."
The Dodgers extended the margin to 7-4 in the eighth on a run-scoring groundout by Hairston and an RBI single by Crawford.
Belisario (2-2) struck out three over 1 2-3 hitless innings after following Paco Rodriguez out of the bullpen. Rodriguez gave up a go-ahead RBI single by Norichika Aoki, who ended up at third base after two-time Gold Glove center fielder Matt Kemp overran the ball for his fourth error of the season. But Aoki was thrown out at the plate by Belisario on a botched suicide squeeze with Jean Segura at the plate.
"You try to outweigh what he's got a better chance of doing — putting it in play and driving in a run, or getting the bunt down," Roenicke said. "It's a sinkerball. It's a heavy sinker, which is actually an easier pitch to bunt than it is to hit."
Brandon League gave up a run in the ninth, but got his seventh save in eight attempts to help send the Brewers to their second straight loss after a nine-game winning streak. League retired Braun on a groundout with the potential tying run at the plate to end it.
The Dodgers, who totaled only seven runs in Beckett's first four starts, staked him to a 2-0 lead against rookie Hiram Burgos with Andre Ethier's two-out RBI single in the first inning and Crawford's leadoff homer in the third.
"Carl's unbelievable. He's shown who he's a four-time All-Star and a Gold Glover and everything," Gonzalez said. "He's just a dynamic player, like I've been saying all along, and it's just great to see him doing what he's doing."
The Brewers got on the board in the fourth with Braun's two-out homer. They took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Betancourt led off with a homer to left-center and Segura hit a two-out RBI single, but the Dodgers tied it in the bottom half on Gonzalez's two-out RBI double inside first base.
"All that matters is winning games," Gonzalez said. "We've lost some games that we should have won, but that's behind is, and now we have to focus on winning each and every day."
NOTES: Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis came out of the game with a right quad strain after running out a grounder to the pitcher in the sixth. ... Beckett's only 20-win season was 2007 — the only time he ever won his first five starts. ... The Brewers were 4-0 at Dodger Stadium last year. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez, who has yet to play this season after undergoing surgery on his right thumb, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. He is still wearing a splint, and will continue to even when he is activated. "None of these guys want to be on the DL any longer than they have to be, but I don't him to come back just to be back," manager Don Mattingly said. "I want him to be ready to play and not have to think about his throwing and how he's going to grip the ball. So as soon as he's ready for that, we're ready for him." ... The Dodgers had only two errors in 72 total chances at the third base position before Hairston misplayed grounders by Braun and Gomez in the eighth.
Last updated: 10:31 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013