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Dodgers squander another good pitching effort, lose to Brewers, 3-1

Nathan Eovaldi, in his third major league start, holds Milwaukee to two runs in six innings but the Dodgers can't do much against Zack Greinke, except a home run by Tony Gwynn Jr.

August 17, 2011|By Jim Peltz

Reporting from Milwaukee — Don't adjust anything, this is a recording.

The Dodgers again got a respectable outing from their starting pitcher Wednesday, and again barely gave him any run support. So the Dodgers lost. Again.

This time the pitcher was Nathan Eovaldi, the 21-year-old making his third big league start, and except for a couple of jams he pitched well in holding the first-place Milwaukee Brewers to two runs in six innings.

But Brewers ace and former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke (12-4) gave up only one run in seven innings, a home run by Tony Gwynn Jr.

And with sloppy work by reliever Josh Lindblom giving Milwaukee an insurance run, the Brewers went on to win, 3-1, and they've won the first three games of the teams' four-game series at Miller Park.

The Dodgers' run production over the three games? Two.

Compounding their problems was their veteran third baseman Casey Blake, who left after the fifth inning because of pain in his right shoulder.

Blake, who turns 38 Tuesday, had sat out 54 games this season because of a variety of ailments, most recently a sore neck.

Earlier in the game, when Blake had made a throw across the diamond to first base, he "felt something in his shoulder," Manager Don Mattingly said, adding that Blake's availability was day to day.

After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, Eovaldi got into trouble in the sixth by walking Ryan Braun with one out.

Prince Fielder then singled, Eovaldi walked Casey McGehee to load the bases and, one out later, Jerry Hairston Jr. singled home Braun and Fielder.

Eovaldi (1-1) "threw the ball well" catcher Dioner Navarro said. "He got himself in a jam a couple of times, unfortunately he couldn't get out of the next one. He gave us a shot, that's all we can ask."

Navarro said Eovaldi even threw a good fastball to Hairston, who "hit a grounder that happened to find a hole."

After Lindblom took over for Eovaldi in the seventh inning, Jonathan Lucroy singled and later scored on two wild pitches from Lindblom.

Gwynn hit his home run on a 3-and-2 pitch from Greinke in the seventh inning. It was Gwynn's first as a Dodger and the sixth of his career.

Gauging Hong-Chi Kuo

Mattingly said before the game that he's calling on struggling reliever Hong-Chih Kuo only in situations where he hopes Kuo can have a strong appearance and boost his confidence.

The former All-Star was on the disabled this season for anxiety disorder, and the left-hander has given up 15 runs in 101/3 innings since returning June 19.

Kuo was called on to face Fielder on Tuesday with the score tied in the ninth inning and walked him. Fielder scored the winning run and Kuo (0-2) was charged with the loss.

Asked whether he would bring in Kuo whenever the game dictated, Mattingly said, "Honestly, I'm trying to be selective to give him momentum right now. I'm sure his confidence is obviously not sky high.

"I still believe in what's there, I know it's there," Mattingly said of Kuo's talent. The question, Mattingly added, is "how do we get to that without jeopardizing games?"

Juan Uribe, Kenley Jansen updates

Infielder Juan Uribe, on the disabled list since July 24, was scheduled to get a cortisone shot in his left hip/abdominal region Wednesday to see whether that would ease his soreness.

Uribe originally had a sore hip flexor muscle, an MRI exam showed, but he still feels pain when running and doctors are checking nearby abdominal muscles to see if that's where the problem lies, Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte said.

Reliever Kenley Jansen, who went on the DL because of an irregular heartbeat, is expected to pitch Sunday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga as part of his rehabilitation. The club hopes he can rejoin the Dodgers when they open their next homestand Aug. 26.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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