LOS ANGELES – On a night when Clayton Kershaw couldn’t keep the ball in the ballpark, Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo held the Los Angeles Dodgers in check and sent the major leagues’ ERA leader to his first loss in over 2½ months.
Gallardo pitched eight strong innings, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez homered, and the Brewers ended Kershaw’s streak of 11 straight victories with a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night.
Gallardo (8-6), who threw 96 pitches, allowed a run and six hits with three strikeouts and a walk. The right-hander has won back-to-back starts for the first time since his first two outings of the season.
“Yo was just outstanding,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “He had great command and an outstanding fastball. He pitched off the fastball the whole game, mixing in his slider and curveball. He really dominated. That’s a good club, so you can’t mess around and make mistakes against them.”
Francisco Rodriguez got three outs for his major league-leading 38th save and 342nd of his career, despite giving up a leadoff homer to Matt Kemp in the ninth.
Rodriguez, who broke a tie with Hall of Famer and former Brewers closer Rollie Fingers for 11th place on baseball’s career list, has passed 11 players this season.
Kershaw (14-3) pitched his 17th career complete game. He allowed five hits and no walks while striking out 11.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and three-time defending major league ERA champ had a 1.16 ERA over his previous 13 starts since his last loss on May 28 against the Reds.
“It comes down to (the fact that) I got outpitched,” Kershaw said. “Yovani pitched better than I did and we lost the game. I just made more mistakes than he did and it showed up on the scoreboard.
“It’s funny, I felt like I pitched so much better than I did in Milwaukee. I got lucky in Milwaukee, and I’m paying for it here.”
Last Sunday, Kershaw held the NL Central-leading Brewers to one run in eight innings in a 5-1 victory.
“He’s the best pitcher in baseball and he’s been on an incredibly great run,” Braun said. “It’s extremely difficult to beat him, and it hasn’t happened much this year. So for us to do that is an impressive accomplishment and something we’re proud of.
“To split those two games he started is encouraging for us.”
Nationals 4, Pirates 3
In Washington, Wilson Ramos drove in the winning run with a ground-rule double in the bottom of the ninth inning after Adam LaRoche tied it with a two-run homer it in the eighth.
The NL East-leading Nationals won their fifth game in a row.
Padres 9, Cardinals 5
In St. Louis, Jedd Gyorko hit his third career grand slam and drove in five runs.
Rain halted play after Gyorko’s big hit in the seventh. The game was delayed 1 hour, 46 minutes and only a handful from the crowd of 44,079 stayed to watch the finish.
Mets 7, Cubs 3
In New York, Wilmer Flores provided a spark with his bat and glove, leading Jonathon Niese and the Mets to a victory over Chicago.
Called up from Triple-A Iowa to make a spot start, Dan Straily was charged with seven runs — five earned — and four hits over 5⅓ innings in his Cubs debut.
Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 1
In Miami, Henderson Alvarez made a successful return to the mound after missing two starts, pitching seven strong innings.
Alvarez allowed one run and five hits. He struck out six after missing time with right shoulder inflammation. He lowered his home ERA to a National League-best 1.46 among qualifiers.
Giants 6, Phillies 5
In San Francisco, Gregor Blanco hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, helping the Giants rally for a victory over Philadelphia.
Michael Morse had two doubles and a triple as San Francisco won for the second time in three games following a five-game skid. Blanco went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs.
Reds at Rockies — ppd.
Braves 4, Athletics 3
In Atlanta, Chris Johnson drove in two runs with three hits, Julio Teheran threw six strong innings and the Braves edged suddenly struggling Oakland.
The A’s, who began the day with the best record in the majors, matched their worst skid of the season by losing four in a row. They’ve dropped six of seven overall.