LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zach Davies is off to a strong start for the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing three earned runs in 17 2/3 innings so far.
After being limited to 13 games because of shoulder and back injuries last season, Davies has helped the Brewers race to a 10-3 mark against National League competition.
He got support from home runs by Mike Moustakas and Orlando Arcia in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
“This was more than a steady performance,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “This was Zach at his best and doing what he does really well.”
The Dodgers, who dropped their sixth straight, didn’t have a hit after pinch-hitter Alex Verdugo’s leadoff single in the fifth inning. Davies and Junior Guerra combined to retire the final 14 batters.
“Just attacking hitters, not shying away from that,” Davies said. “Being healthy does help, too.”
Moustakas went deep for his first career homer at Dodger Stadium on Caleb Ferguson’s first pitch in the second. Arcia homered off reliever Dennis Santana to begin the fourth, making it 2-0.
The Brewers managed nine hits and won their second straight on a night when Christian Yelich was hitless in five at-bats. Yelich failed to reach base in a game for the first time this season, snapping his 27-game on-base streak.
Former Dodger Yasmani Grandal had two hits, making him 5-for-8 in the series.
Davies allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.
Milwaukee turned three double plays.
“It was great,” Davies said. “Weak contact, ball on the ground, that is my favorite thing. Getting it hit at a guy was helpful, too.”
Davies tried to make a play on a comebacker by A.J. Pollock leading off the game, leaving his ring finger and pinkie on his right hand numb.
“I was just trying to get the feeling back in my fingers after the first couple of pitches and just manage that there didn’t get any swelling in there, and stay loose the rest of the game,” he said.
Guerra earned his first career save.
Cody Bellinger hit his NL-leading ninth homer in the fourth on his bobblehead night, leaving the Dodgers trailing 2-1. Their 33 homers top the NL.
“We just couldn’t build on that momentum,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We’re going to be fine. It’ll turn. We’ve been in this spot many times over.”
Travis Shaw’s single down the right-field line scored two more runs in the fifth, extending Milwaukee’s lead to 4-1. Former Dodger Yasmani Grandal opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch before Moustakas singled and Jesus Aguilar walked to load the bases.
“Obviously, I have been struggling and trying to work through some things, but tonight felt pretty good,” Shaw said. “To get another shot with the bases loaded there in the fifth was big.”
Ferguson (1-1) started in a bullpen game for the Dodgers, who put Hyun Jin-Ryu on the injured list earlier in the week with a groin injury. They ran through a total of six pitchers.
Ferguson allowed one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out two and walked two.
Brewers: Shaw (right hand) returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Friday. He was hit by a pitch in the second inning Wednesday against the Angels. ... RHP Jeremy Jeffress (shoulder) was set to pitch one inning for Triple-A San Antonio on Saturday night.
Dodgers: 1B Max Muncy returned to the lineup after being out Friday. He took a groundball off his right index finger while playing 2B on Thursday in St. Louis and the finger swelled and blistered.
EJECTED FROM AFAR
Dodgers C Russell Martin was ejected for comments from the bench in the fourth by home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak. C Austin Barnes struck out looking to end the inning, stranding runners on second and third when Martin let loose.
“We thought it was off the plate,” Roberts said. “That was a big spot.”
The Dodgers have homered in 28 straight home games, dating to Aug. 21, which is second-most in MLB history. The record is 32 set by Colorado.
Bellinger is a big part of the streak. He’s smashed seven homers at home so far this season.
Brewers CF Lorenzo Cain turned 33 on Saturday. He was hitless in four at-bats with a walk.
Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 4.24 ERA) is 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA in 12 regular-season games (11 starts) at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (0-1, 3.78) took his first loss in St. Louis after allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings.
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