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Brewers spoil major league debut by Dodgers' Matt Magill

Right-hander gives up two runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings but the bullpen falters and Milwaukee wins, 6-4.

April 27, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Martin Maldonado celebrates after hitting a two-run home run as A.J. Ellis looks on during the eighth inning of the Dodgers' loss to the Brewers, 6-4.
Martin Maldonado celebrates after hitting a two-run home run as A.J. Ellis… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Lost among all the bells and whistles added during Dodger Stadium’s $100 million off-season renovation was the expansion of the trainers’ room, which was outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment.

But less than a month into the season, it’s already become the most popular place in the clubhouse. Because when the Dodgers scratched scheduled starting pitcher Stephen Fife and placed him on the disabled list Saturday, he became the eighth player to appear on the DL this month.

And that doesn’t include Mark Ellis, who came out of Friday’s game with a quadriceps strain, or Adrian Gonzalez, who missed the first six innings Saturday to make a brief trip to the hospital with what the team called a "small skin infection" in his right leg.

BOX SCORE: Milwaukee 6, Dodgers 4

That left the Dodgers so desperate for healthy bodies they had to reach down to triple-A Albuquerque for right-hander Matt Magill, who wound up giving the team a huge lift by limiting the Milwaukee Brewers to two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings.

But the bullpen didn’t come up nearly as big, with Carlos Gomez cracking a two-run home run two batters after Magill departed, helping the Brewers to a 6-4 victory that spoiled Magill’s major league debut.

"He showed us why he's one of those guys we feel like is on the rise," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said of Magill. "He did more than his share."

Magill is the ninth pitcher to start for the Dodgers in only 23 games this season. The last time the team needed that many starters this early was 1942, when it used 10 men in 22 games. But the 23-year-old from Simi Valley hardly pitched like an afterthought, overcoming a shaky 28-pitch first inning to strike out seven and retire 13 of the last 14 batters he faced.

And the only two runs he gave up probably wouldn’t have scored had he made an accurate throw after fielding Ryan Braun’s one-hop nubber back to the mound in the third inning. Instead, Magill threw to the wrong side of second base, pulling Skip Schumaker off the bag and turning what should have been an inning-ending double play into a fielder’s choice that left the bases loaded.

Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a run-scoring single and the Brewers made it 2-0 on a Rickie Weeks’ groundout.

"He seemed to be getting better as he went along," Mattingly said. "Early on he used a lot of pitches, then kind of settled in."

The Dodgers fought back to give Magill the lead, with A.J. Ellis driving home a run with a two-out single in the third inning and Matt Kemp scoring in the fourth and again in the sixth.

Two outs into the seventh inning, Magill was pulled after 103 pitches, departing with a lead to a standing ovation from the crowd of 50,244.

“It was just an awesome experience walking off the field,” he said.

Those cheers quickly turned to boos, though, after Norichika Aoki greeted reliever Paco Rodriguez with an infield single and Gomez followed by hitting Matt Guerrier’s third pitch into the left-field pavilion.

In three previous at-bats against Guerrier, Gomez had struck out twice and grounded into a double play.

"Matt has had good numbers with Gomez," Mattingly said. "It didn’t work out."

Guerrier gave up another two-run homer -- this time to Martin Maldonado -- an inning later.

Andre Ethier got one of those runs back for the Dodgers with a solo homer in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to five games. And the Dodgers had another chance in the ninth when they got the tying runs into scoring position with two out.

But Brewers closer Jim Henderson got A.J. Ellis to ground out to end the game.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Twitter: @kbaxter11

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