Dodgers 8, Brewers 1: Maeda plus offense gives Kershaw-less Dodgers series win

Pregame doom and gloom was rampant Thursday after the Dodgers announced they placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list with lower back stiffness. With the bad news hanging over Miller Park like a storm cloud, they still had a game to play and a series to potentially win before they could return home.

Kenta Maeda settled in nicely after allowing a lone run to the Crew in the first inning, and the Dodgers collected 14 hits including three home runs and three doubles in the 8-1 series finale victory over the Brewers.

After all the rotation woes the Dodgers are facing, Maeda stepped up in a big way. He allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks on 101 pitches (63 strikes) and picked up his seventh win of the season.

The Dodgers’ offensive engine started up in the first inning but sputtered out when they stranded a couple of runners. Corey Seager extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a one-out single and reached third on a Justin Turner single. Unfortunately Adrian Gonzalez flied out, and Howie Kendrick struck out to end the threat.

Maeda started off shaky with a 27-pitch first inning. The Brewers cashed in a run on a Aaron Hill sacrifice fly after Maeda loaded the bases. Scooter Gennett singled, Ryan Braun was hit with a pitch and Chris Carter walked.

Things perked up in the Dodger dugout after Trayce Thompson clobbered a Zach Davies fastball for his 12th home run of the year, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Midgame trades are always interesting. During the second inning we learned that the Dodgers acquired Bud Norris from the Braves.

Kenta was rolling right along, and the Dodgers kept hitting dingers. They took a 3-1 lead after Yasmani Grandal‘s no-doubt solo home run, his seventh of the year, to center field in the fourth. 

Seager, who obviously deserves to be an All-Star, smashed a two-run shot in the fifth. That’s his 17th home run of the year, the second-most for a shortstop in the majors. Dodgers took a commanding 5-1 lead.

It felt good to see the Dodgers rough up Zach Davies who was out of the game after 4 1/3 innings. Yasiel Puig promptly jumped all over reliever Michael Blazek, collecting a one-out RBI single and the fourth base hit for the Dodgers in the frame.

Milwaukee got a man to third on a really ugly play in the bottom of the fifth on a bad pickoff attempt of Jonathan Villar. Maeda and Chase Utley were charged with an error each, but Adrian Gonzalez and Turner were to blame too. Rick Honeycutt went out to chat with Maeda after he walked Gennett, and he was able to induce a groundout from Braun thereafter to escape the inning unscathed.

The Dodgers picked up two more runs off the Milwaukee bullpen in the sixth thanks to a Grandal leadoff walk, a successful bunt by Maeda, a productive Utley groundout and an intentional walk to Seager. A scorching hot Turner, who went 3-for-5 in the game, won a 10-pitch at-bat with a line drive single to left to bring home Grandal. Gonzalez followed with a RBI double after the pitching change.

Casey Fien pitched two scoreless innings, and J.P. Howell closed up shop in the ninth.

The Dodgers improve to 44-37 on the season and 21-22 on the road. They close their scorebooks on June with a 16-12 record.

Officially halfway through the season, the Dodgers now head home to play their final ten games before the All-Star break. On Friday they open a three-game set against the third-place Rockies with first pitch at 7:10 PM PT. Colorado will send lefty Jorge De La Rosa to the mound, and the Dodgers look to new acquisition and July rotation fill-in Bud Norris in the series opener.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.