Dodgers lose 5-4 on Kottaras' 2-run double in 9th
MILWAUKEE – Los Angeles Dodgers closer Javy Guerra had been nearly perfect this season — until Tuesday night.
Guerra gave up a two-run double to Milwaukee pinch-hitter George Kottaras with one out in the ninth inning that lifted the Brewers to a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers, snapping Los Angeles' six-game winning streak.
Guerra (1-1) came into the game with five saves in six appearances and had not allowed a run this season.
"I will own up to this one," he said. "It was my bad."
Andre Ethier's two-run home run with two outs in the top of the eighth inning had given the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Mark Ellis hit a one-out broken-bat single off Francisco Rodriguez and, after Matt Kemp struck out, Ethier hit a 1-1 pitch into the Brewers' bullpen for his fourth homer of the season.
"For the ball club to have battled back like we did, those are the games we have to win," Guerra said.
The right-hander said the pitch to Kottaras was on the plate, and the Brewers' backup catcher hammered it to the wall in right-center field.
"It caught too much of the plate," he said. "Give him some credit. He did a nice job of getting a good swing on it. It's his job. I have to execute better on that one."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the game set up the way he wanted with the Dodgers grabbing the lead in the eighth inning. That allowed him to bring in Kenley Jansen and Guerra in relief of starter Chad Billingsley.
"We would have liked to have a couple run lead, but it is what everyone tries to get to with a lead and your closer coming into the game," he said. "If you tell me, we can get there tomorrow, we'll take it again and take our chances from there."
Mattingly said Billingsley did a good job of keeping the Dodgers in the game. The right-hander entered the game having given up only one run and eight hits in his first two starts, both victories.
"I thought the ball was coming out pretty good all day," Mattingly said. "He did what we ask guys to do and that is to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win."
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo also pitched well, giving up only two runs in seven innings.
Billingsley said he was able to get comfortable after hitting Brewers slugger Ryan Braun with a pitch in the third inning. Braun was thrown out trying to steal second base by catcher A.J. Ellis.
"I settled down after that," he said. "Yovani was throwing the ball well so I knew I had to match him with zeroes."
Leading 4-3, Guerra allowed Corey Hart to lead off the ninth with a single. Pinch-runner Carlos Gomez then stole second and Mat Gamel walked.
Guerra struck out Jonathan Lucroy. Kottaras then pinch-hit for Cesar Izturis and hit a 2-2 pitch to the wall, driving in Gomez and Gamel with Gamel sliding in just ahead of the throw from second baseman Mark Ellis and sending the Brewers to a jubilant celebration at home plate.
Jose Veras (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.
The Brewers had taken a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh when Norichika Aoki's squeeze bunt off Matt Guerrier drove in Gamel with the tiebreaking run to give Milwaukee a 3-2 lead.
The game featured National League MVP Braun against the runner-up in Kemp. Braun went 0 for 3 while Kemp was 1 for 4 with a double.