On a night when Clayton Kershaw couldn’t keep the ball in the ballpark, Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo held the Los Angeles Dodgers in check and sent the major leagues’ ERA leader to his first loss in over 2½ months.
Gallardo pitched eight strong innings, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez homered, and the Brewers ended Kershaw’s streak of 11 consecutive victories with a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night.
Gallardo (8-6), who threw 96 pitches, allowed a run and six hits with three strikeouts and a walk. The right-hander has won back-to-back starts for the first time since his first two outings of the season.
"Yo was just outstanding," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He had great command and an outstanding fastball. He pitched off the fastball the whole game, mixing in his slider and curveball. He really dominated. That’s a good club, so you can’t mess around and make mistakes against them."
Francisco Rodriguez recorded three outs for his majors-leading 38th save and 342nd of his career, despite giving up a leadoff homer to Matt Kemp in the ninth.
Rodriguez, who broke a tie with Hall of Famer and former Brewers closer Rollie Fingers for 11th place on baseball’s career list, has passed 11 players this season.
Kershaw (14-3) pitched his 17th complete game in 202 career starts. He allowed five hits and no walks while striking out 11.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and three-time defending major-league ERA champ had a 1.16 ERA over his previous 13 starts since his last loss on May 28 against Cincinnati.
"It comes down to (the fact that) I got outpitched," Kershaw said. "Yovani pitched better than I did and we lost the game. I just made more mistakes than he did and it showed up on the scoreboard.
"It’s funny, I felt like I pitched so much better than I did in Milwaukee. I got lucky in Milwaukee, and I’m paying for it here."
Last Sunday, Kershaw held the NL Central-leading Brewers to one run in eight innings in a 5-1 victory.
"He’s the best pitcher in baseball and he’s been on an incredibly great run," Braun said. "It’s extremely difficult to beat him, and it hasn’t happened much this year. So for us to do that is an impressive accomplishment and something we’re proud of.
"To split those two games he started is encouraging for us."
Justin Turner had an RBI single in the fourth for the Dodgers, whose third loss in four games reduced their NL West lead over San Francisco to 4½ games following the Giants’ 6-5 win over Philadelphia.
Braun heard taunts of "Cheat-er, cheat-er" from the crowd of 50,849 as he dug in against Kershaw in the fourth inning. He temporarily silenced them with an opposite-field drive that barely cleared the right-field fence and the leaping attempt of Kemp — who was runner-up to Braun for NL MVP honors in 2011.
The two-run homer was the 15th shot this season for Braun, who was suspended for the final 65 games last season and the playoffs for violating baseball’s drug policy.
Gomez drove Kershaw’s first pitch of the sixth inning into the Dodgers bullpen in left field for his 19th homer.
"I think one of our biggest strengths is that we have guys up and down the lineup who have the ability to hit home runs and drive the ball for extra-base hits," Braun said. "When you face pitching that’s this good, sometimes you don’t get many opportunities."
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza, sidelined because of a strained left oblique, played catch for the second straight day.
Dodgers: 3B Juan Uribe was placed on the disabled list because of an injured right hamstring for the second time this season. He is the seventh Dodgers player to go on the DL this month, joining SS Hanley Ramirez and pitchers Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez and Paco Rodriguez.
Brewers: Wily Peralta (14-7, 3.46 ERA) is 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA in his last six starts since giving up a career-worst nine runs in a 9-7 home loss to the Phillies.
Dodgers: Dan Haren (10-9, 4.50) is coming off victories over the Angels and Braves. He will attempt to win three consecutive starts for the first time since last July 27-Aug. 9, when he beat the Mets, Brewers and Phillies and went seven innings each time.