MILWAUKEE — Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis makes his off-season home in the Milwaukee area, but at a key moment in the 10th inning Wednesday night, Ellis looked as though he'd rather have been anywhere else.
With the Dodgers and Brewers tied at 2-2, Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan broke for second base, Ellis' errant throw flew into center field, Morgan moved to third base and a dejected Ellis stood at home plate with his right hand on his side.
Ellis' miscue opened the door for Morgan to score on Ryan Braun's sacrifice fly that gave the Brewers their second walk-off run against the Dodgers in as many nights and a 3-2 victory at Miller Park.
After Morgan reached third base, the Brewers loaded the bases against reliever Matt Guerrier. The Dodgers used a five-man infield in hopes of preventing a run and Braun lifted his shallow fly to center fielder Matt Kemp.
Kemp's throw arrived with Morgan and home-plate umpire Mike DiMuro ruled that Ellis tagged Morgan too late, leaving Ellis and Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly arguing in vain with DiMuro as they walked off the field.
"We should still be playing," Mattingly said a few minutes later. "It looked like the ball [from Kemp] beat him."
Ellis said that "it was a good throw by Matt" but that "you've got to move on. Come back and salvage the series tomorrow."
After starting a sizzling 9-1 this season, the Dodgers have dropped the first two games of a three-game series with Milwaukee, the defending National League Central Division champions.
The Dodgers' Jerry Hairston Jr., a former Brewer who played third base and left field Wednesday night, said, "We're playing good baseball — we are — and we're pretty much in position to win and that's all you can ask for."
"These guys are tough, especially at home," he said of the Brewers.
"We're a confident group and it just didn't go our way tonight."
Starters Chris Capuano, another former Brewer, and Milwaukee's Zack Greinke both gave up two runs, with Capuano lasting six innings and Greinke — who remains 12-0 in 17 starts in Miller Park — going seven.
Before then, a pivotal moment came in the seventh inning when Hairston —playing third for a resting Juan Uribe — made a diving catch of a drive hit by Jonathan Lucroy down the line against reliever Josh Lindblom.
If the ball had gotten by Hairston, the Brewers would have had the go-ahead run on second base with nobody out.
Instead, Lindblom retired the next two batters and the score remained tied.
The Dodgers scored their first run in the first inning when Kemp singled home Mark Ellis, who had tripled. It was Kemp's 17th run batted in, tying him for the league lead with teammate Andre Ethier.