Dodgers lose Syndergaard early but still beat Brewers 6-2
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers withstood Noah Syndergaard’s early exit, getting home runs from Mookie Betts, Will Smith and Miguel Vargas on Tuesday night in a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2.
Syndergaard lasted only one inning because of a cut on the index finger of the 30-year-old right-hander's pitching hand. Syndergaard headed to the dugout after warming up before the bottom of the first inning, apparently to have the cut treated.
After allowing the first two Brewers he faced to reach base, Syndergaard got out of the inning without allowing a run but didn’t pitch again the rest of the night.
Phil Bickford, Justin Bruihl (1-0), Yency Almonte and Victor González combined to allow one hit over five innings of shutout relief as the Dodgers built a 6-0 lead. The Brewers’ only runs came in the seventh, when Rowdy Tellez and Victor Caratini homered off Shelby Miller.
After the Brewers put two runners against Brusdar Graterol in the ninth, Evan Phillips came out of the bullpen and retired Tyrone Taylor on a grounder for his sixth save in as many chances.
The Dodgers won by ending their season-long struggles against left-handed pitching and finally breaking through against Eric Lauer (3-4). The Dodgers had entered batting an MLB-low .193 against lefties.
Lauer had gone 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 11 previous starts against the Dodgers. The only active pitcher who has made at least 10 starts against the Dodgers with a better ERA is San Diego’s Yu Darvish (2.36).
Lauer allowed four runs – three earned – in 3 2/3 innings. The unearned run was due to Lauer’s own errant pickoff attempt.
Betts sent Lauer’s second pitch of the night over the wall in left-center for his 39th leadoff homer, putting the Dodgers ahead for good. Smith hit a solo shot off Lauer in the third. Vargas added a two-run drive off Bryse Wilson in the sixth.
Los Angeles also got quality defense from Chris Taylor, whose outstanding play in left field brought back memories of the Dodgers’ 2018 NL Championship Series Game 7 victory over the Brewers in this stadium.
With two on and nobody out in the first inning, Taylor caught a Willy Adames drive in front of the left-field wall. Taylor followed that up by making a diving catch of a Christian Yelich liner in the third.
Taylor also robbed Yelich of a hit in the fifth inning of that 2018 game to preserve the Dodgers’ 2-1 lead in a 6-1 win.
Brewers: RHP Gus Varland was activated from the injured list, over three weeks after a line drive from San Diego’s Manny Machado went off his pitching hand before striking him on the chin and left forearm. The hand issue had put him on the injured list. The Brewers optioned LHP Bennett Sousa to Triple-A Nashville.
Dodgers: DH J.D. Martinez is expected to return Friday for the start of a home series with San Diego. Martinez has been on the injured list since April 28 with lower back tightness. … Max Muncy returned to the field and played third base Tuesday. He had been limited to a designated hitter role Monday due to an illness. … The Dodgers recalled Bruihl and placed RHP Caleb Ferguson on the paternity list.
Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 2.53) pitches for the Dodgers and Wade Miley (3-1, 2.31) starts for the Brewers as this three-game series concludes with a Wednesday matchup of left-handers. ___
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Steve Megargee, The Associated Press