Ted Lilly allowed only two hits and lost. The Dodgers had 12 baserunners, left only five on base and didn’t score a run.
When a season has slipped from a team’s grasp, it can get inventive when it comes to losing.
The Dodgers looked like the Thomas Edison of the majors in Milwaukee, falling, 3-0, to the Brewers on a Monday evening that saw the Dodgers run themselves right out of the game.
The Dodgers hit into a triple play and three double plays in the first five innings. In the other inning, they had a runner thrown out at the plate. Then for some perfect symmetry, they ended the game by hitting into a fourth double play.
And it really wasn’t like they were bonehead plays, just some aggressiveness that backfired and some strong play by the Brewers.
Meanwhile, the Brewers used three solo home runs -– by Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Jonathan Lucroy -– to muster enough offense to ruin the start to the Dodgers’ 10-game road trip.
The triple play came in the second inning after Matt Kemp walked and Juan Rivera singled him to second.
James Loney, who had reached base in nine of his previous 12 plate appearances, then hit a sharp bouncer up the middle. Second baseman Josh Wilson reached, nabbed the ball and then flicked it neatly with his gloved hand to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for the force at second.
Betancourt quickly fired to first baseman Prince Fielder ahead of Loney for what seemed a very nice double play. Only, this being the Dodgers, they were going to make it more interesting.
Kemp flew around third on the play and tried to sneak home for the run while the Brewers were busy with the double play. But Fielder spied Kemp out of the corner of his eye and fired accurately to home.
It looked like Kemp was going to be out easily, but with a head-first slide, he thought he had avoided catcher George Kottaras’ tag by lifting his left hand over the plate. Umpire Mike Winters ruled Kottaras caught him on the arm. It was going to be that kind of night.
It was the first triple play the Dodgers hit into since May 12, 2009 at Arizona when it was started by . . . Wilson.
It was a night when most things went right for the Brewers, and precious little for the Dodgers. Particularly for Lilly.
Lilly pitched very well, save for the required solo home run he seems to give up every outing. This one went to Braun in the fourth. Lilly has allowed 26 home runs –- fourth most in the majors -– and 19 have been solo shots.
For the seven innings Lilly pitched, it was the only run the Brewers got. Otherwise Lilly allowed only a single, walked two, struck out six ... and fell to 7-13.
In the eighth, reliever Scott Elbert gave up a solo home run to Lucroy and reliever Mike MacDougal surrendered Hart's homer.
That was more than enough output for ex-Dodger Randy Wolf, who was more than happy to receive all that defensive support. Wolf threw eight scoreless innings, despite six hits and five walks, to raise his record to 10-8.
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-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt throws to first base after taking a toss from second baseman Josh Wilson and forcing out Dodgers left fielder Juan Rivera during a triple play in the second inning Monday night. Credit: Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press