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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

June gloom comes early for Dodgers

Brewers complete sweep with 6-2 victory after Dodgers learn that Matt Kemp will be out again for a month.

May 31, 2012|By Jim Peltz

It was a May to remember for the Dodgers, their 16-12 record helping them remain atop the National League West the entire month.

But lately it's hard to recall the last time the Dodgers won a game, given that they lost their fourth in a row to the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-2, on Thursday night.

It was the first time the Dodgers had been swept in a four-game series at Dodger Stadium in 19 years. And now the team opens June with a 10-game trip and after having placed slugger Matt Kemp back on the disabled list.

The Dodgers flew to Colorado after Milwaukee got two-run home runs by Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez and six innings of one-run pitching by right-hander Zack Greinke.

"This too shall pass," Manager Don Mattingly said the Dodgers' skid. Noting that the Dodgers were only two for 11 with runners in scoring position, he said "we just didn't get the big hit."

Chad Billingsley took the loss, dropping his record to 2-4, after he gave up four runs in six innings and didn't receive much support. In fact, Billingsley drove in the Dodgers' only run through eight innings.

Kemp went on the disabled list after suffering a second strain to his left hamstring, and is expected to be lost for at least four weeks.

The Dodgers went 9-5 during Kemp's first 15-day stint on the disabled list, thanks to strong pitching, steady hitting by right fielder Andre Ethier and repeated heroics by backup players and called-up minor leaguers.

"We've just got to pull together again for however long it's going to be" that Kemp is out of action, Ethier said. "Just need to bear down and everyone needs do their part."

Milwaukee scored in the first inning when Rickie Weeks singled home Ramirez ,and Taylor Green, who had doubled, came home when Martin Maldonado hit into a force play.

Billingsley, who had nine hits last season, helped his own cause in the second inning by hitting a single up the middle that scored Jerry Hairston Jr.

But in the third inning Billingsley gave up a single to Nyjer Morgan and then the two-run home run to Ramirez.

Billingsley said he mostly was pleased with his pitch location but made a mistake to Ramirez. "I was trying to go cutter in," a cut fastball inside, "and it came back over the middle of the plate," he said.

James Loney, who did not start because he's been slumping, hit a pinch-hit scoring single off Brewers reliever Manny Parra in the ninth.

Alex Castellanos, called up from triple-A Albuquerque to replace Kemp, made his big league debut in the eighth inning when he took over in left field.

In his debut at-bat in the bottom of the inning, Castellanos was hit on the left arm by a pitch from reliever Kameron Loe.

With Scott Van Slyke batting, Castellanos then appeared to steal second ahead of the throw from Maldonado, Milwaukee's catcher.

But home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo ruled that Van Slyke interfered with Maldonado, Van Slyke was called out and Castellanos had to return to first base.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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