Walker Buehler fell short of the goal to pitch five innings, plus he surrendered four home runs on the day and the Los Angeles Dodgers suffered their second consecutive defeat in a 9-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Justin Turner provided Buehler with an early lead by driving a two-run home run off the batter’s eye in center field in the first inning. The homer was Turner’s first of the spring and further validated his comments on Monday of trending in the right direction as the regular season nears.
“Things are starting to come together and I feel like offensively, I’m right where I need to be about 10 days from Opening Day,” Turner said.
Milwaukee quickly erased their deficit as Keston Hiura and Christian Yelich hit back-to-back home runs with one out in the bottom of the first. Omar Navarez gave the Brewers a 3-2 lead with a solo homer of his own two batters later.
Milwaukee then manufactured a run in the second inning when starter Corbin Burnes’ sacrifice bunt was cashed in by Kolten Wong on a two-out RBI single. Hiura further extended their lead with a two-run homer.
Buehler nearly got through five innings but was chased after allowing back-to-back doubles with two outs that brought in three runs.
Pitching struggles extended to Victor Gonzalez, as a walk and two singles loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Gonzalez collected a second strikeout before giving way to Landon Knack. The right-hander got the Dodgers out of the jam to keep their deficit at 9-2.
L.A. mounted a bit of a rally in the ninth inning as they loaded the bases with one out. A run scored on Zach McKinstry’s infield single and Sheldon Neuse drove in two more with a base hit into center field.
That prompted a Brewers pitching change, bringing in former Dodgers farmhand Leo Crawford. He promptly issued a walk and allowed an RBI single to Rangel Ravelo before managing to finish out the game.
Because a steady rain began to fall at American Family Fields of Phoenix, the Dodgers removed Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Turner in the bottom of the third — which was after each logged two at-bats on the day.
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