LOS ANGELES (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez got his revenge.
One night after getting turned around on a lost fly ball that fell for a double and cost his team a victory, Gomez hit a two-run home run to power the Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
Gomez’s homer, off of Dodgers’ relief pitcher Matt Guerrier, came in the seventh inning and gave the Brewers the lead for good.
“It was a really good game for Gomey,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of his center fielder. “He’s been really hot. I think what I like also is he’s not out there just swinging at everything like he does at times. There are times when he’ll have a great at-bat.”
Gomez, who was selected as the National League Player of the Week last week after batting .500, said it’s just a matter of being patient at the plate.
“Sometimes you have to give credit to the pitcher because when you’re hot they’re going to try to make you chase and they throw you bad pitches to hit,” he said. “That is when you have to stay back and make them come to you.”
Familiarity with the opposing pitcher doesn’t hurt. Gomez has played with and against Guerrier and had an idea of what pitch was coming in the seventh inning.
“I saw the first pitch he threw me was out of the zone,” Gomez said. “I knew that he was going to try to throw me a curve on the inside. I was just going to stay back and wait for the moment to drop the head on the ball and that’s what happened.”
One inning later, Martin Maldonado hit a two-run home run for the Brewers, giving them the breathing room they needed. It was also off Guerrier.
The two home runs put a damper on the Major League debut of Dodger pitcher Matt Magill. Magill was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque after Stephen Fife, the scheduled starter, went on the disabled list with bursitis in his right shoulder.
Magill pitched 6 2-3 strong innings, striking out seven and retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. But that final out of the seventh inning was the one that the Dodgers couldn’t get quickly enough.
Paco Rodriguez relieved Magill and gave up an infield hit to Norichika Aoki. Guerrier (1-1) relieved Rodriguez and gave up the home run to Gomez. Since Magill had surpassed the 100-pitich mark, Don Mattingly had to make the change.
“We still would have gone to Guerrier at that point,” Mattingly said. “We knew he (Magill) had gone further than we talked about and we weren’t going to put him in that position.”
The Brewers took a 2-0 lead off of Magill in the third inning but the Dodgers fought their way back with solo runs in the third and fourth innings. They forged ahead, 3-2, when Matt Kemp scored on a groundout by Luis Cruz in the sixth inning.
Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta (2-1) felt good about his performance despite trailing when he left the game. He’s now won two in a row.
“I think I had good command of my three pitches,” he said. “The changeup was very good, especially when I was behind in the count.”
The Brewers bullpen had to walk a tightrope of sorts before finally putting the Dodgers away. Andre Ethier hit a home run in the eighth inning off of John Axford, and the Dodgers had runners at second and third in the bottom of the ninth before Jim Henderson induced A.J. Ellis into a game-ending grounder to shortstop for his sixth save.
Notes: Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the starting lineup because he was at the hospital getting a skin infection examined. Brewers shortstop was a late scratch as well because he split a fingernail on his right index finger while shagging grounders during batting practice. Magill was the ninth starting pitcher the Dodgers have used in their first 23 games this season. The last time they used nine or more pitchers in their first 23 games of the season was in 1945.