National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 26th
(All times eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (11-9) at Los Angeles Dodgers (10-11), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Hiram Burgos (1-0, 1.80)
Los Angeles - Josh Beckett (0-3, 4.68)
(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.
04/26 10:42:40 ET