Davies, Brewers hand Dodgers rare home loss
LOS ANGELES — Zach Davies has not only provided a model for how to control the powerful Los Angeles Dodgers offense, he has the Milwaukee Brewers thinking big of how they can squeeze their way into the postseason.
Davies fired seven scoreless innings at the Dodgers on Saturday as Milwaukee finished off a 3-0 victory. It was only the 15th time the Dodgers lost a game at home in 67 tries.
Los Angeles’ offense collected only three hits off Davies over seven innings and only got a runner as far as second base twice. The Dodgers (91-37) finished with five hits.
Davies also has a six-inning scoreless outing against the Dodgers on June 4 at Milwaukee.
“I think that against us, he’s just throwing the ball really well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s got good stuff and he obviously knows what he is doing on the mound. Against a club like us, he’s obviously going to bring his best stuff. He really executed tonight and we really couldn’t do a whole lot with him.”
Davies kept the Dodgers off balance with a cut fastball, while consistently changing speeds. He remained down in the strike zone and avoided running into the Dodgers’ power.
“I think I have gotten to a point where I know that I can mix form the beginning,” Davies said. “Getting every pitch in from the start has kind of been a little bit of hope for myself and, and it keeps those pitches in the game throughout.”
It was the third consecutive start where Davies gave up one earned run or fewer, and the fourth time he has done it in five August starts.
The Brewers are three games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and 3 1/2 behind the Colorado Rockies in the wild-card standings. Advancing as a wild card and winning the wild card game would likely match up the Brewers against the Dodgers in October and give Davies another chance to continue his success versus Los Angeles.
“I think almost everyone in this room is really trying to make the playoffs,” Davies said. “That’s the end goal.”
Yasiel Puig had the Dodgers’ only extra-base hit off Davies, a two-out double in the second inning. The other two hits off the right-hander also came with two outs as Chase Utley and Austin Barnes delivered back-to-back singles in the fifth inning.
“He uses all four pitches and he pitches to the bottom of the zone,” the Dodgers’ Justin Turner said. “he keeps you off balance. It seems like he never throws the same pitch twice and he did a good job tonight.”
The Dodgers were trying to beat the Brewers using exclusively relief pitchers. Ross Stripling, the swing man out of the bullpen this season, started and went three scoreless innings. He was followed by Edward Paredes, Josh Ravin, Brandon Morrow, Tony Watson and Luis Avilan.
The Brewers struck off Ravin in the fifth inning when Orlando Arcia crushed a two-run homer to center field. It was Arcia’s 13th home run of the season. The Brewers added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Neil Walker’s double scored Hernan Perez.
Brewers closer Corey Knebel closed out the victory with his 28th save. The Dodgers’ Corey Seager led off the ninth with an infield single, but Knebel ended it on strikeouts of Justin Turner, Curtis Granderson and a ground ball from Yasmani Grandal.
NOTES: Brewers INF/OF Hernan Perez was in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, striking out twice in his first three at-bats before delivering an eighth-inning single. ... Since being acquired Aug. 12 from the Mets, Brewers INF Neil Walker is 13-for-35 after going 1-for-3 on Saturday with a walk. ... With his three scoreless innings against the Brewers on Saturday, Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling has fired five scoreless frames at Milwaukee in his brief career. ... Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez carried a .344 career batting average against the Brewers into Saturday’s game, but struck out as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning.