Powered by a dramatic Cody Bellinger home run in the top of the ninth inning, the Dodgers defeated the Brewers 6-5 in Milwaukee on Easter Sunday, taking three of four of the roadtrip’s first leg.
By doing so, the Dodgers claimed the season series four games to three.
Joc Pederson had a monster day for Los Angeles, going 4-for-5 including two home runs, his ninth and tenth of the season. Seemingly, Pederson’s contributions were enough to seal the win, but a bullpen meltdown by the Dodgers forced the offense to once again save the day.
Heading into the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead, the Dodgers appeared to be set to secure Clayton Kershaw‘s first win of the year. However, the Milwaukee offense had other plans in the latter stages of the game.
Pedro Baez relieved Scott Alexander in the bottom of the eighth inning, and after allowing singles to Ryan Braun and Yasmani Grandal, skipper Dave Roberts called on closer Kenley Jansen to replace Baez and potentially record a four-out save.
Yet, it didn’t quite work out the way Roberts drew it up. The first batter Jansen faced, pinch-hittert Eric Thames, launched a homer over the center field wall, scoring Braun and Grandal and tying the game at five. Jansen retired Travis Shaw to end the inning, but the damage was done as many spectators had the sense the momentum was changing.
But it was Bellinger who saved the day for the Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning, blasting his 11th homer into the right field stands and giving the Dodgers the lead for good at 6-5. Cody finished the day going 3-for-4 and recording three RBI, bringing his season total to 28.
Corey Seager also had a productive day for Los Angeles, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored.
Despite a few control issues, Kershaw was solid. He threw an even six innings on 92 pitches, allowing two earned runs on two hits and four walks while striking out seven. One of those hits was a solo home run off the bat of Lorenzo Cain in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Despite the blown save and the home run by Thames, Jansen threw a perfect ninth inning to record the victory.
After a day off on Monday, the Dodgers head to Chicago to finish the current road trip with a three-game set against the Cubs.
Currently, the Dodgers’ record is 15-9. They lead both the Diamondbacks and Padres in the West by three full games.