Brewers hand Dodgers 1st series loss since early June
LOS ANGELES — Jimmy Nelson wore his nickname “Big Sweat” on the back of his jersey for players weekend.
The 6-foot-6 Nelson earned his nickname for sweating through countless jerseys when he pitches. However, with a no-hitter going against the best team in baseball, dry jerseys would not fit into the no-hitter superstitions of keeping everything unchanged.
Nelson pitched like “Big Easy.” He was efficient and effective, eventually losing the no-hit bid when pinch hitter Chase Utley singled with one out in the sixth inning. His gem led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
“Jimmy was really good,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He pitched beautifully. No hits through five innings. We probably should’ve escaped with just giving up one run. He pitched beautifully.”
The Brewers (68-63) won twice in the three-game series at Dodger Stadium, the first series the Dodgers lost since they dropped two of three to the Washington Nationals from June 5-7. Los Angeles hadn’t lost in its past 22 series, going 19-0-3.
Nelson (10-6) allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and worked his way around two walks. And no dry jerseys.
“I only had three (jerseys) made,” Nelson said of his “Big Sweat” jerseys. “This one had zeros on it, so I’m going to keep it on until something happens. It’s one of those things I’m known for. You can’t really do much about it.”
The Dodgers, who own the best record in baseball, 91-38, lost consecutive games for the first time since July 20-21.
“We move on from this one,” Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager said. “We look forward to the next one. Game plan and get back at it.”
Corey Knebel pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 29th save. It was eventful as he hit Granderson to start the inning and walked Logan Forsythe. He got Kyle Farmer to strike out on a 3-2 fastball for the final out.
Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, just activated from the disabled list after recovering from a back injury, allowed three runs in five innings in his fourth start since he was acquired from the Texas Rangers. He threw 95 pitches and worked to get out of several jams. He was done after striking out seven and walking three.
“The overall stuff was really good and the fastball had life,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think in talking to Yu and talking to (pitching coach) Rick (Honeycutt), there was a mechanical adjustment he’s been working through over the last 10 days with his bullpens. To take it from a bullpen to a game, obviously things speed up.
“He was trying to find a rhythm and some consistency. Toward the end of the game, he felt more comfortable and slowed the game down a little bit.”
The Brewers got on the board in the first inning when Seager booted a ball hit by Travis Shaw, and Eric Sogard scored from second for a 1-0 lead.
Milwaukee scored two runs in the second inning to build a 3-0 lead. Hernan Perez hit a leadoff home run, a solo shot to left field on a 0-1 pitch for his 13th of the season. Neil Walker walked, Shaw hit a double, and Domingo Santana singled home Walker. Shaw was thrown out trying to score on the play as well.
Nelson walked Granderson in the second and Justin Turner in the fourth.
The Dodgers got to Nelson in the sixth inning as the Los Angeles defense faltered. Utley singled to break up the no-hit bid. Seager singled, then advanced to second and Utley scored on an error by center fielder Keon Broxton. The next batter, Turner, doubled to right field after Santana — who wasn’t wearing sunglasses in the day game — lost the ball in the sun and let it drop. He wore sunglasses after that.
“It’s safe to have them, even if it’s on your hat,” Counsell said. “He didn’t think he needed them, obviously. It’s safe to have them. You learn a lesson there, I think.”
NOTES: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (back) is scheduled to return for a start either Friday or Saturday in San Diego following his rehab start Saturday. ... Brewers minor league SS Julio Mendez was hit by a pitch and experienced a cardiac event on Saturday in rookie ball in Tempe, Ariz. Mendez was in critical but stable condition. “All of our thoughts and prayers are with Julio and his family,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said in a statement. ... OF Yasiel Puig (side) was not in the Dodgers’ lineup Sunday, though he appeared as a pinch hitter. Puig crashed into the right field wall on Saturday after making a catch. ... Dodgers CF Joc Pederson is getting reps in left field with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was sent to the minor leagues after the Dodgers acquired OF Curtis Granderson ... Dodgers RHP Josh Fields (lower back strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list.