|Milwaukee (53-53) «||0||0||0||2||1||3||0||0||0||6||8||1|
|L.A. Dodgers (65-41)||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||3||5||11||0|
LOS ANGELES -- Bases loaded. Two outs in the ninth. Baseball's career saves leader protecting a one-run lead against one of the best hitters of their generation.
Hoffman got Ramirez on a fly to right to finish the Brewers' 6-5 victory over the Dodgers on Monday night, winning a showdown that ranks among the best moments of Milwaukee's up-and-down season.
"That's not necessarily the situation you want to be facing Manny in, that's for sure," said Hoffman, who earned his 24th save of the season and 578th of his career despite giving up three hits and a run during Los Angeles' three-run rally in the ninth.
"He's prolific with the bases loaded, and (I had) not great stuff on the mound," Hoffman added. "It's an enjoyable win for the ballclub."
Manny Parra pitched eight outstanding innings, but Milwaukee nearly blew a four-run lead after he gave up two hits to open the ninth. James Loney hit Hoffman's first pitch for a two-run double, and Orlando Hudson drove him home with a single to cut Milwaukee's lead to a run.
• Brewers: Hart on DL after appendectomy
After the Dodgers loaded the bases on a swinging bunt and a hit batsman, Ramirez came up with the crowd remembering his dramatic pinch-hit grand slam last month.
"It's an elevated heart rate when he steps in the batter's box," said Brewers right fielder Bill Hall, who caught the final out. "He's about the last guy you want to come up in that situation, but Hoff made a nice pitch, and I was able to secure the win with a nice, easy catch."
Ramirez shrugged off his 10th straight game without an RBI. Ramirez, who's in a 7-for-42 slump, went 1 for 5 with a first-inning double, again failing to drive in a run since his pinch-hit grand slam against Cincinnati on July 22.
"He threw me a couple of little curves," Ramirez said. "I made a good swing on the first one, but then I thought he was coming with a changeup, and he got me. I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit."
Ryan Braun had a three-run homer among his four hits, but Milwaukee's All-Star outfielder will most remember the battle of wills between his closer and the Dodgers' charismatic star.
"The fans got their money's worth, that's for sure," said Braun, who grew up over the hills in the San Fernando Valley.
With Los Angeles-based owner Mark Attanasio in attendance, the Brewers climbed back to .500 by jumping on Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (8-6), who hadn't lost since June 10.
Kershaw had an 0.79 ERA in his previous nine starts, but the 21-year-old left-hander issued a season-high six walks, including four straight in the fourth inning to bring in two of his three runs allowed. Hall and .207-hitting catcher Mike Rivera drew bases-loaded walks.
"If I hadn't pitched the way I did, we probably could have won the game with the comeback we had," Kershaw said. "I just couldn't really find a smooth rhythm with my mechanics, and stuff and didn't really feel comfortable. You can't have that happen for a whole inning. Walks are aggravating."
Parra (6-8) had the longest start of his career and the best outing yet in his surge since returning from the minors last month, yielding eight hits and four runs while improving to 3-0 in his last five outings. Although he fell short of his first career complete game, Parra even got his third hit of the season before scoring on Braun's 22nd homer.
"My stuff wasn't great, but they put the ball in play a lot," Parra said. "When you play this team, they seem to be in it all the way. ... [A complete game] is a personal goal aside from the team. I went out there with the intention of winning that game [in the ninth], so it's disappointing."
Casey McGehee had two hits and scored two runs for Milwaukee, which has four wins in six games for the first time in a month. The Brewers plummeted from first place to fourth in the NL Central during a dismal July, yet they're still just four games off the division lead in third place.
"We're still in this," Braun said. "I think people sometimes lose sight of that. We still have two months to go."
|Brad Ausmus can only watch Ryan Braun cross the plate after the slugger's three-run homer. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Felipe Lopez, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||4||.299|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||4||2||2||0||1||0||0||.323|
|Ryan Braun, LF||5||2||4||3||0||0||1||.316|
|Jody Gerut, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.199|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.303|
|Mike Cameron, CF||4||1||0||0||1||0||1||.252|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||1||0||0||0||3||0||0||.229|
|Bill Hall, RF||3||0||0||1||1||2||3||.198|
|Mike Rivera, C||3||0||0||1||1||1||1||.207|
|Manny Parra, P||4||1||1||0||0||2||3||.100|
|Trevor Hoffman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|HR - Ryan Braun (22, Weaver)|
|RBI - Ryan Braun 3 (73), Bill Hall (21), Mike Rivera (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun 3 (25)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Hardy-F. Lopez-Fielder, Hardy-F. Lopez-Fielder|
|E - Manny Parra (2, Throwing)|
|Manny Parra (W,6-8)||8||8||4||4||1||4||0||6.33|
|Trevor Hoffman (S,24)||1||3||1||1||0||0||0||1.97|
|HBP - Ethier (by Trevor Hoffman)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 102-65, Trevor Hoffman 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 12-7, Trevor Hoffman 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Manny Parra 32, Trevor Hoffman 7|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||0||2||1||0||0||0||.266|
|Andre Ethier, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.272|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||5||0||1||0||0||2||5||.306|
|Casey Blake, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.286|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.317|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.293|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||0||1||2||0||0||1||.292|
|Brad Ausmus, C||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.328|
|a- Juan Pierre, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.313|
|Clayton Kershaw, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.114|
|Jeff Weaver, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.300|
|b- Mark Loretta, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.230|
|James McDonald, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Russell Martin, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.263|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Ausmus in the 9th|
|b-flied out for Weaver in the 7th|
|c-flied out for McDonald in the 9th|
|2B - Manny Ramirez (15, Parra), Matt Kemp 2 (15, Parra, Parra), James Loney (21, Hoffman)|
|SH - Juan Pierre (8)|
|RBI - Rafael Furcal (31), James Loney 2 (68), Orlando Hudson 2 (53)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Furcal-Hudson-Loney|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Clayton Kershaw (L,8-6)||4||4||3||3||6||6||0||2.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 92-51, Jeff Weaver 50-31, James McDonald 18-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 3-3, Jeff Weaver 3-3, James McDonald 4-2|
|Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 22, Jeff Weaver 12, James McDonald 7|
|Attendance - 46544|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Angel Hernandez|