Dodgers lack a spark as they lose to Brewers

MILWAUKEE — Hangovers can usually be traced to one cause – poor judgment.

In the Dodgers’ case Monday, though, there were a number of factors in play. The team was coming off an intense three-game series against their – yes, they are – rivals played in front of sellout crowds on a festive weekend in San Diego. The atmosphere at American Family Field on a soggy Monday night was not going to match that.

On top of that, the Dodgers endured a late-night flight – courtesy of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball and a minor traffic accident as the team bus left Petco Park – that got them to their Milwaukee hotel after 3 a.m.

As is frequently the case, the next day’s starting pitcher traveled ahead of the team on Sunday and Tony Gonsolin certainly looked well-rested as he retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. But an error by third baseman Michael Busch led to a three-run home run and the Dodgers went on to lose, 9-3, to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Busch fumbled William Contreras’ soft ground ball to start the fifth inning and the slow-footed catcher reached first base. Two outs later, the inning should have been over but Tyrone Taylor took advantage of the extra out with a single up the middle and Joey Weimer belted a hanging splitter from Gonsolin into the second deck down the left-field line.

After scoring a frisky 50 runs against the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies on their six-game homestand, the Dodgers have been held to 10 runs in four games since (half of them in Sunday’s extra-inning win).

Against Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta on Monday, they managed just one run on three hits – a flared double by David Peralta, a single by Austin Barnes kicked into a double by left fielder Christian Yelich and another double by Freddie Freeman. Freeman’s ground-rule hit leading off the sixth inning became the Dodgers’ only run after a pair of ground outs advanced him over and in.

By the time Chris Taylor clubbed a two-run home run in the ninth inning, the game was out of hand thanks to the bullpen.

Dodgers relievers had allowed a total of five runs over 31⅔ innings in nine games before Monday. Phil Bickford and Wander Suero allowed six in the seventh inning alone as the Brewers blew the game open.

More to come on this story.

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