Dodgers 7, Brewers 3
Andre Ethier turned out to be a better closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers than Jonathan Broxton on Thursday night.
Ethier hit a grand slam in the ninth off LaTroy Hawkins after Broxton blew a two-run lead in the top of the inning, and the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3.
``It was important to bounce right back and not dwell on it and say `Oh, why us?' in that situation,'' Ethier said. ``I don't know what it is, but for some reason, I just keep getting up in that situation with an opportunity to do it. I can't figure it out. It definitely makes things a lot easier when there's a guy standing at third and one out.''
Jamey Carroll greeted Hawkins (0-3) with a leadoff single, advanced to second on a one-out single by Xavier Paul and took third on a wild pitch to Matt Kemp, who eventually walked. Ethier worked the count to 2-2 before driving the next pitch to center field for his 10th homer.
It was Ethier's second game-ending hit of the season and 11th since the start of 2008, the most in major leagues during that stretch. Ethier has been up twice with the bases loaded this season and hit grand slams each time.
``I don't think he has an advantage with the bases loaded. If you make your pitch, you get a groundball to anyone in the infield and we turn two,'' Hawkins said. ``It boiled down to making my pitch, and I didn't.''
Broxton (2-0) took the mound in the ninth trying to protect a 3-1 lead for John Ely, who was in line for his first big league victory. But the Brewers got four hits off the Dodgers' closer and tied it on two-out RBI singles by Gregg Zaun and Corey Hart.
``He throws as hard as anybody in baseball, but we got some pitches in the zone and had some good at-bats against him,'' said former Dodger Craig Counsell, who had a pinch-hit single during the rally. ``The key to hitting him is to catch up with his fastball.''
The two-time defending NL West champs loaded the bases in the sixth with none out against ex-Dodgers reliever Claudio Vargas, trying to extend their 3-0 lead. But the right-hander got Carroll to hit into a force play at the plate before striking out Ely and Paul.
``You've got to pick up your pitcher in that type of game,'' Ethier said. ``John pitched more than good enough to get a win in that game. And for us not to put up enough offense to allow him to walk away with a win definitely leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.''
Ely allowed a run and four hits over 6 2-3 innings in his second big league start, did not walk a batter and struck out seven - including Jim Edmonds all three times he faced him. The right-hander gave up singles to two of his first five batters and retired the next 16 in a row before Prince Fielder singled with one out in the seventh and scored on a two-out single by Zaun.
``I was just firing strikes and trying to get ahead,'' said Ely, who gave up five runs over seven innings at New York in his big league debut on April 28. ``I came out tonight with a little more fire and a lot more distinction in what I wanted to get accomplished. There was no more `Hey, I'm in the big leagues.' It was more `Let's buckle down and get this accomplished, because that's what you have to do to stay here.''
After losing the first two games of the series by scores of 11-6 and 11-3, the Dodgers opened the scoring in the first with a sacrifice fly by James Loney that extended his streak to a career-best six consecutive games with an RBI. He has 12 during the stretch, after driving in just seven runs in his first 22 games.
Carroll doubled with two outs in the Dodgers' second against Dave Bush, and scored when Fielder mishandled a perfect throw from third baseman Casey McGehee on Ely's grounder. Paul followed with a double between a diving Fielder and the bag for a 3-0 lead. Fielder's error was his first this season. He had only seven in 162 starts at first base last year.
Bush was charged with three runs - one earned - and four hits in five innings.
NOTES: Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker was released from the hospital on Thursday, six days after undergoing heart surgery. ... Ely was 32-16 with a 3.71 in the minor leagues, where he started 69 of 70 games after being chosen in the third round of the 2007 draft by the White Sox. ... The Brewers, who switched from the AL to the NL in 1998, have never swept a series from the Dodgers. ... Edmonds, in his second game after missing the previous five with a back problem, struck out all four times up.