Published April 26, 2013
| Sports Network
Their winning streak may be over, but the Milwaukee Brewers have still won three straight series. They'll begin another one Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
The Brewers were aiming for their 10th straight win and a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, only to suffer a 2-1 loss at Petco Park. Milwaukee didn't go down easy and made it interesting in the ninth inning on Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI double with two outs. Martin Maldonado was then called out for batter's interference to end the game.
Maldonado hit a bouncer at the plate that ricocheted off of the player's body.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who was ejected Tuesday for arguing balls and strikes, was somewhat critical on the umpire's call.
"To end the game, you better know darn well that he's out of the box," Roenicke said. "You could see the ball coming off his shoulder as Maldy's taking a step to first base. He's definitely not out of the box."
Either way, the Brewers are still 9-1 in their last 10 games and 2-1 on a six- game road trip. Marco Estrada suffered the unfortunate loss and allowed two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
In other team news, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is nearing a return from a sprained left knee and has been out since April 5. He has started to take batting practice and ground balls again with the team.
"We've talked about why he can't rush it," Roenicke said. "He doesn't really want to go on a rehab, so that makes it more important not to rush it. We have to make sure when we activate him, he's ready to go."
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks is embroiled in a 5-for-58 slump
Milwaukee pitcher Hiram Burgos did enough in his major league debut to earn another start, so he'll be toeing the rubber once again Friday. Roenicke made the decision to go with Burgos before Kyle Lohse separated his left pinkie finger. Lohse is slated to go Sunday in the series finale.
Meanwhile, Burgos took the hill in Saturday's 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs and tossed five innings of one-run ball. He allowed five hits, struck out one and did not issue a walk.
"He threw well, and I think he definitely earned his second start right there," Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "He'll go out there and give us a chance to win, and the key point to that is that he throws strikes."
The Dodgers are back home following a six-game road trip (3-3) through Baltimore and New York. They dropped two of three to the Orioles, then took the series from the Mets with Thursday's 3-2 win.
Andre Ethier had an RBI single and Juan Uribe plated a run with an infield single in the ninth inning to grab a 3-2 lead, while Brandon League surrendered a home run to Ike Davis in the bottom half before settling down to notch his sixth save.
"This is the type of win we haven't been grinding out the last week or two," Ethier said. "We didn't fold after (Davis') homer. We kept after it. Maybe this is the turning point in getting us the feeling we can win close games."
L.A. liked what it saw from rookie Korean hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed three hits and one run to go along with eight strikeouts over seven innings. Manager Don Mattingly was impressed with how Ryu battled it out.
"That was a big decision for us (to keep Ryu in through seven innings), Mattingly said. "He told us he could do it. It's a big win for us."
Matt Kemp went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Dodgers and is starting to see the ball better lately. He is batting .458 with a home run, five RBI and 11 hits in the last six games.
The Dodgers announced that right-hander Chad Billingsley underwent Tommy John surgery and will need about a year to recover fully. Also, shortstop Hanley Ramirez could begin a rehab assignment soon on his injured thumb.
Los Angeles will also welcome Colorado for three games on the homestand.
With the L.A. rotation struggling and missing two key contributors in Zack Greinke and Billingsley, Dodgers starter Josh Beckett has to step it up. Beckett takes the mound Friday and is winless (0-3) in four starts to go along with a 4.68 earned run average.
Beckett gave up a season-high six runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 6-1 loss at Baltimore on Saturday. In the previous start, Beckett was dealt a hard-luck loss in a 1-0 setback at Arizona on April 14, when he held the Diamondbacks to a run in 8 1/3 innings.
The right-hander and 2003 World Series MVP is 1-2 with an 8.84 ERA in four career starts against Milwaukee.
The Dodgers lost six of seven meetings with Milwaukee last season, losing all four encounters at Chavez Ravine.