On the strength of a four-run fifth inning, the Milwaukee Brewers handed former ace Zack Greinke his first career loss at Miller Park by taking a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.
Carlos Gomez highlighted the big inning by plating a pair with a ground-rule double off Greinke (2-1). Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt added an RBI apiece to help the Brewers take the middle test of this three-game set.
Greinke, who went 15-0 at Miller Park during his one-plus seasons with the Brewers, was lit up for five runs on nine hits and was removed after failing to record an out in the fifth.
"I thought everything went bad, not just command," said Greinke. "I didn't have anything to keep them off balance, they got aggressive in the last inning, they put some balls in play. I have to be smarter out there, I was trying to throw too hard."
It was Greinke's first time back in Milwaukee since being traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim just before last year's trade deadline.
Mike Fiers (1-2) relieved a shaky Hector Burgos and worked out of a bases loaded jam to toss 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. Jim Henderson stranded a pair of runners and struck out three in the ninth to earn his ninth save.
The Dodgers were a woeful 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base. Greinke had two hits and an RBI while Nick Punto plated the Dodgers' only other run in their fourth loss in five games.
"This has kind of been the story of our offense this year," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We're not getting it done, we're not getting guys in. Zack wasn't as sharp as the last game, he kind of ran out of gas in the fifth inning."
Greinke, making just his second start back from a broken collarbone, retired the first two batters he faced before getting into some trouble by walking Braun and giving up a base hit to Aramis Ramirez. Jonathan Lucroy then lined one into center to help the Brewers to a 1-0 lead.
Los Angeles left the bases loaded in the third, but Greinke helped his own cause when he plated his team's first run with his second hit, poking a grounder through the left side in the fourth. After Carl Crawford walked to load the bases, Punto gave Los Angeles a 2-1 edge with a single up the middle.
Fiers took over for Burgos with the bags still packed and struck out Adrian Gonzalez before grounding out Matt Kemp to escape further damage. He then got Andre Ethier out at the plate in the fifth when he flipped Dee Gordon's grounder to Lucroy, who made the tag to save a run from scoring.
Jean Segura tripled to start the fifth and scored easily on an ensuing single from Braun to tie the game. Ramirez and Lucroy each followed with base hits and without recording an out, Greinke was lifted after Gomez smashed a two-run ground-rule double to provide Milwaukee with a 4-2 edge.
"He continued to throw me that cutter," said Gomez. "I was sitting down on that pitch, I took advantage and put a good swing on it."
Matt Guerrier took the hill and induced a Betancourt groundout, but another run came across on the play. Jeff Bianchi singled, but the Brewers ran themselves out of the inning when Gomez was picked off third and Bianchi was caught stealing.
Four Brewers relievers stitched together four innings of two-hit ball the rest of the way. Henderson gave up a leadoff single to Gonzalez and walked A.J. Ellis three batters later, but ended the contest with his third strikeout by getting Scott Van Slyke to go down swinging.
The Brewers captured just their fourth victory in May. They have lost 15 contests in the month ... It was Greinke's first career start against the Brewers ... Burgos was charged with two runs on six hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings. He threw 88 pitches.