Los Angeles at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
L.A. Dodgers (55-66)010000000142
Milwaukee (72-51) «010000001260

Brewers 2, Dodgers 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers are running away from the rest of the NL Central.

Pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth inning and the Brewers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Tuesday to take their biggest division lead ever this late in the season.

"We've found our identity," Kotsay said. "Our pitching staff's leading us and we're scoring enough runs to win games."

The NL Central-leading Brewers have won 18 of 20 and are seven games ahead of second-place St. Louis after the Cardinals lost 5-4 to the Pirates.

"You've got to take each day as it comes and try to catch Philly. That's our goal," Nyjer Morgan said. "Since we have nobody to really chase in our division, let's go chase Philly."

Milwaukee is 7½ games behind Philadelphia for the National League's best record.

More on Dodgers at Brewers
Related links
Fantasy videos
Eye on Baseball news | Follow on Twitter

"We're hot, but this is a good club," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "This is a club that when it's close, right now we feel like we're going to win the ballgame."

After a pitching duel between Yovani Gallardo and Chad Billingsley, the Dodgers bullpen imploded in the ninth.

Hong-Chih Kuo (0-2) issued a leadoff walk to Prince Fielder, then left for Mike MacDougal. Casey McGehee singled on MacDougal's first pitch to put men on first and second and Yuniesky Betancourt walked on four pitches. Kotsay followed with a single and the celebration was on again.

"It's contagious. Winning's contagious," Kotsay said. "Any time you get a lot of confidence, you play good baseball."

Milwaukee is a major league-best 46-15 at Miller Park and has a bigger lead in the division than the 1982 Brewers did on their way to winning the AL East and the American League pennant.

"You can't let up, you've still got to go out there and try to win every ballgame," Gallardo said. "We've still got more than a month to go, we're playing good baseball now. We've got to keep moving."

Takashi Saito (4-1) pitched the eighth for the win.

Gallardo and Billingsley were terrific, all night long. Each gave up a run in the second and four hits total.

Billingsley pitched seven innings for the Dodgers, retiring the 14 of his final 15 batters.

Gallardo allowed a single to Juan Rivera in the fourth, then retired 12 in a row before walking pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen with two out in the eighth. Tony Gwynn Jr. followed with a sharp single to put runners on the corners. Gwynn stole second, but Gallardo fanned Casey Blake to finish with nine strikeouts.

"I tried to find that good rhythm, and I was able to do that after the second inning," Gallardo said.

Billingsley got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the second when Matt Kemp singled, stole second, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Aaron Miles' single.

Milwaukee answered in the bottom half on Corey Hart's run-scoring groundout.

The Brewers squandered the only chance either team had to take the lead.

Fielder doubled to start the sixth and reached third on a groundout. But Betancourt swung through the first pitch from Billingsley as Fielder took off for home. Caught in a rundown after Betancourt missed the bunt sign, Fielder stopped and simply fell to the ground, where he was tagged out by Blake at third.

That was Milwaukee's only hit off Billingsley the rest of the night. The right-hander struck out five and walked two, but the offense failed to give him any more support.

"It's kind of been our story," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It's been tough for us to push runs across on any kind of consistent basis."

Notes

Mattingly said SS Dee Gordon (bruised right shoulder) was hitting off a tee and participating in fielding drills, but is not throwing. The Dodgers are being cautious with the highly regarded prospect, but he's expected to return as soon as he's eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 25. ... Brewers LHP Chris Narveson threw his first bullpen as he recovers from a deep cut on his thumb last week. Narveson had eight stitches removed Monday and the Brewers hope he can return in time to start the second half of a doubleheader in Pittsburgh on Aug. 22. ... Brewers RHP Zack Greinke (11-4, 4.08 ERA) faces RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 1.64) on Wednesday night in the third of this four-game series.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Milwaukee

Y. Gallardo
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 9
Los Angeles

C. Billingsley
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 5
 

Related Video

December 19, 2014
Boomer and Carton's Week 16 NFL Picks (4:10)
December 18, 2014
Expectations for 2015 Titans
(1:22)
December 18, 2014
Expectations for 2015 Jaguars
(1:39)
December 18, 2014
NFL Defensive Player of the Year predictions
(0:44)
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF4010010 .254
Casey Blake, 3B4000022 .254
Andre Ethier, RF4000010 .294
Matt Kemp, CF4110010 .320
Juan Rivera, 1B4010010 .267
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
Aaron Miles, 2B3011001 .287
Rod Barajas, C3000010 .217
Jamey Carroll, SS3000011 .294
Chad Billingsley, P2000010 .186
   a- Trent Oeltjen, PH0000100 .220
    Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
    James Loney, 1B0000000 .258
Totals3114119  
a-walked for Billingsley in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Aaron Miles (32)
SB - Tony Gwynn Jr. (19, 2nd base off Gallardo/Lucroy), Matt Kemp (32, 2nd base off Gallardo/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Chad Billingsley (2, Throwing), Juan Rivera (3, Missed catch of throw)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chad Billingsley 7411250 4.04
Matt Guerrier 1000000 3.86
Hong-Chih Kuo (L,0-2)0011100 12.00
Mike MacDougal0200100 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 93-60, Matt Guerrier 11-7, Hong-Chih Kuo 6-2, Mike MacDougal 6-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 11-5, Matt Guerrier 2-1
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 27, Matt Guerrier 3, Hong-Chih Kuo 1, Mike MacDougal 3
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Corey Hart, RF4001000 .270
Nyjer Morgan, CF4000011 .312
Ryan Braun, LF4020010 .329
Prince Fielder, 1B3110101 .305
Casey McGehee, 3B3010102 .238
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3000114 .266
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B3110000 .256
   a- Mark Kotsay, PH1011000 .261
Jonathan Lucroy, C2000110 .285
Yovani Gallardo, P2000010 .222
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
Totals2926245  
a-singled for Hairston in the 9th
Batting
2B - Prince Fielder (29, Billingsley)
SH - Yovani Gallardo (5)
RBI - Corey Hart (45), Mark Kotsay (23)
CS - Prince Fielder (1, Home by Billingsley/Barajas)
Team LOB - 5
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yovani Gallardo 8411190 3.55
Takashi Saito (W,4-1) 1000000 2.20
WP - Yovani Gallardo (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 114-76, Takashi Saito 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 8-7, Takashi Saito 1-2
Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 29, Takashi Saito 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37083
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Mike Winters