Reliever Woodruff’s HR stuns Kershaw, Brewers take Game 1
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 Saturday 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.
The Brewers’ Lorenzo Cain, Orlando Arcia and Christian Yelich celebrate after Game 1 of the National League Championship Series Friday in Milwaukee. The Brewers won 6-5 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.