That’s one down for Brew­ers

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS -

MIL­WAU­KEE — So the Brew­ers can hit, too.

Re­liever Bran­don Woodruff stunned Dodgers ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw with an early home run Fri­day night, and the Brew­ers’ nor­mally shut­down bullpen held on — barely — in a 6-5 vic­tory over the sloppy Dodgers in Game 1 of the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Series.

The Brew­ers earned their 12th straight win, one shy of the fran­chise record, which was set at the start of 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, scor­ing Joc Ped­er­son, 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 the Dodgers, who 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.

Brew­ers 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 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, he made a sud­den im­pact — with his bat. He 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 he al­lowed six hits and five runs — four earned — in three-plus in­nings.

JEFF ROBERSON/AP

Bran­don Woodruff hits a rare post­sea­son homer by a re­liever — off Clay­ton Ker­shaw, no less — on Fri­day night in Mil­wau­kee. Woodruff also pitched for the win.

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