Brewers hold on to beat LA in NLCS opener

Re­liever Woodruff homers to help Mil­wau­kee win 12th straight

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - BY GE­NARO C. AR­MAS

MIL­WAU­KEE — So they can hit, too. Re­liever Bran­don Woodruff stunned ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw with an early home run and Mil­wau­kee’s nor­mally shut­down bullpen held on — barely — as the Brewers beat the sloppy Los An­ge­les Dodgers 6-5 Fri­day night in Game 1 of the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

Hard-throw­ing Josh Hader and the Brewers earned their 12th straight win, one shy of the fran­chise record set to open the 1987 sea­son.

The Dodgers scored three times in the eighth to make it 6-4, then nearly tied it in the ninth. Chris Tay­lor hit an RBI triple off cen­ter fielder Lorenzo Cain’s glove with two outs be­fore Corey Knebel fanned Justin Turner to end it.

Ker­shaw was chased be­fore he could re­tire a bat­ter in the fourth in­ning.

Manny Machado home­red and drove in three runs for Los An­ge­les. The Dodgers com­mit­ted four er­rors, in­clud­ing two by catcher Yas­mani Gran­dal, who also had two passed balls.

Game 2 is to­day at Miller Park, with Wade Mi­ley pitch­ing for the Brewers against Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Mil­wau­kee man­ager Craig Coun­sell’s pitch­ing-by-com­mit­tee strat­egy con­tin­ued to be a hit, at least un­til the late in­nings.

Fi­nally, the hard-throw­ing Knebel re­stored or­der by strik­ing out Turner. Knebel walked Joc Ped­er­son with two outs be­fore Tay­lor’s long drive.

Woodruff picked up the win and helped him­self out at the plate.

Af­ter starter Gio Gon­za­lez went two in­nings, nicked by Machado’s home run, Woodruff en­tered in the top of the third. In the bot­tom half, Woodruff made a sud­den im­pact — with his bat.

Woodruff be­came just the third re­lief pitcher to homer in the post­sea­son, tag­ging a three-time NL Cy Young Award win­ner for a ty­ing solo drive. Woodruff pumped both arms as he rounded first base, while Ker­shaw turned away and looked down at the ground.

An­other mis­er­able Oc­to­ber night was just be­gin­ning for Ker­shaw, whose reg­u­lar-sea­son bril­liance has of­ten

dis­ap­peared in the post­sea­son.

And it wasn’t even Chris­tian Yelich and the Brewers’ stars who got to him. Her­nan Perez hit a sac­ri­fice fly later in the third, and pinch-hit­ter Domingo San­tana had a two-run sin­gle in the fourth for a 4-1 lead that chased Ker­shaw from the mound with no­body out.

It was the short­est post­sea­son start of Ker­shaw’s ca­reer. He had a 4.65 ERA in 10 ca­reer ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing seven starts, go­ing into Fri­day.

That ERA went up af­ter al­low­ing six hits and five runs — four earned — in three-plus in­nings.

Je­sus Aguilar added a solo home run in the sev­enth for the Brewers, his sec­ond of the post­sea­son. BURGER TIME: Eat up, Mil­wau­kee.

This late-sea­son run earned Brewers fans a free burger.

Ge­orge Webb Restau­rants has a long-stand­ing pro­mo­tion to give away a free burger when­ever the Brewers win 12 straight. It’s time to dine af­ter a dozen. Ge­orge Webb planned to an­nounce the give­away date and time af­ter the game.

“Who knew that we would make it this far and the big­gest piece of stress go­ing into this game would be Ge­orge Webb’s ham­burg­ers?” Coun­sell said be­fore the game.

JEFF ROBER­SON/ASSOCIAED PRESS

Mil­wau­kee re­liever Bran­don Woodruff (53) cel­e­brates while round­ing the bases fol­low­ing his homer off LA’s Clay­ton Ker­shaw on Fri­day night in Mil­wau­kee. Woodruff also was the win­ning pitcher.

JEFF ROBER­SON/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Dodgers’ Clay­ton Ker­shaw yells as he walks off the mound af­ter giv­ing up the lead to Mil­wau­kee in the third in­ning.

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