MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers don't think of themselves
as a team that has to manufacture runs.
They're quite good at it, though.
They managed just one earned run on five hits Thursday but still
beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 behind Ben Sheets' solid seven
innings of work, an effective bullpen and an offense that's as
opportunistic as it is anemic.
"I've pitched here in the past three years and it's not like
we've knocked the cover off the ball in any of those, so you get
kind of used to it," Sheets said.
"These (hitters) picked us up the whole first month. It's about
time for us to carry a little bit of the load," he said.
In their last nine games, the Brewers have managed just 24 runs
but have won six times.
They took two of three from the Dodgers at home for the first
time since April 1998 despite going 2-for-25 with runners in
scoring position, including 0-for-5 Thursday.
They scored all the runs they'd need on shortstop Cesar
Izturis's two-run throwing error in the first inning about 14 hours
after third baseman Adrian Beltre's throwing error allowed the
winning run to score in the Brewers' 2-1 win in 12 innings.
"They got a little today, they got very little last night,"
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "We pitched extremely well for
three days. We pitched about as well as you can pitch."
So did the Brewers, especially their bullpen, which allowed one
run in 15 innings for a 0.60 ERA.
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost doesn't expect his pitchers, who have
posted a 3.41 ERA in May, to keep getting such little margin for
"There's going to come a time when our hitters are going to
have to pick up our pitchers," Yost said, listing off his batters
who have yet to get going: Scott Podsednik, Geoff Jenkins, Junior
Spivey, to name a few.
Sheets (5-3) didn't walk a batter for the sixth time this year
and he struck out eight as Milwaukee (24-21) again made the most of
very little offense to go three games above .500 for the first time
since June 25, 2001, when the Brewers were 38-35.
"He's one of the best pitchers in the league, and when you mix
that with an offense that's been struggling, that's a bad
combination for us," slumping slugger Shawn Green said after the
Dodgers lost for the 11th time in 13 games.
Sheets allowed one run on four hits to outdo Jeff Weaver (3-6),
who allowed just three hits, walked four and struck out eight over
seven strong innings but was charged with two unearned runs in the
first when the Dodgers made two errors.
The Brewers loaded the bases after Podsednik's franchise record
streak of 23 straight steals, including 22 this season, was snapped
when David Ross threw him out trying to swipe second base. Weaver
got Keith Ginter to chop a ground ball to short, but Izturis
overthrew first, allowing two runs to score.
Beltre's game-costing error the night before came on a sacrifice
bunt by Ginter, who was plucked in the buttocks on his way to
first, allowing the winning run to score.
"The way we've been swinging the bat, we'll take runs any way
we can," Ginter said. "I think there's a lot of guys in the
lineup not feeling good at the plate. So, we're trying to do little
things, get a walk, an error, whatever it takes to get some guys on
base and make something happen."
Milton Bradley's seventh homer, a 420-foot shot off Sheets
leading off the seventh, cut the Dodgers' deficit to 2-1.
Podsednik then gave the Brewers a 3-1 lead with his fifth homer
leading off the eighth against reliever Tom Martin. Dan Kolb
pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
"It shows that we're executing even though we're not hitting
the ball around the yard," Brewers infielder Bill Hall said.
"When everybody's not hitting, those are things you've got to do.
You've got to steal bases, bunt, get guys in scoring position. Then
get a hit after that or hopefully they'll make an error or
something just to push some runs across."
^Notes:@ Brewers RHP Chris Capuano is day-to-day after a muscle in
his pitching arm cramped in the fifth inning Wednesday night. ...
Dodgers OF Dave Roberts rejoined the team after a two-day rehab
stint at Class A Vero Beach. Los Angeles was 8-12 during his
absence with a strained right hamstring.