MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers withstood the early exit of Noah Syndergaard, hitting home runs from Mookie Betts, Will Smith and Miguel Vargas in a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Syndergaard only lasted an inning after cutting the index finger of the 30-year-old right-hander’s pitching hand. Syndergaard went to the dugout after warming up before the end of the first inning, apparently to get the cut treated.
After allowing the first two Brewers he faced to reach base, Syndergaard left the inning without allowing a run but did not throw again for the rest of the night.
Phil Bickford, Justin Bruihl (1-0), Yency Almonte and Victor González combined to score over five innings of shutout relief as the Dodgers built a 6-0 lead. The Brewers’ only runs came in the seventh when Rowdy Tellez and Victor Caratini homed Shelby Miller.
After the Brewers put down two runners against Brusdar Graterol in ninth place, Evan Phillips came out of the bullpen and grounded Tyrone Taylor out for his sixth save in as many chances.
The Dodgers won by ending their season-long struggles against lefties, eventually breaking through against Eric Lauer (3-4). The Dodgers had entered against lefties with an MLB low of .193.
Lauer had gone 7-1 in 11 previous starts against the Dodgers with a 2.37 ERA. The only active pitcher to have at least 10 starts against the Dodgers with a better ERA is San Diego’s Yu Darvish (2.36).
Lauer allowed four runs — three earned — in 3 2/3 innings. The undeserved run was due to Lauer’s own failed pickoff attempt.
Betts sent Lauer’s second pitch of the night over the left-center wall for his 39. Leadoff Homer, give the Dodgers the lead. Smith scored a solo shot in the third round in front of Lauer. Vargas added a two-barrel drive out Bryse Wilson in the sixth.
Los Angeles was also well defended by Chris Taylor, whose outstanding left field play evoked memories of the Dodgers defeating the Brewers in Game 7 of the 2018 NL Championship Series at that stadium.
With two ons and nobody in the first inning, Taylor intercepted a Willy Adames drive in front of the left field wall. Taylor followed that by making a dive catch a Christian Yelich liner in the third.
Taylor also robbed Yelich of a hit in the fifth inning of that 2018 game to maintain the Dodgers’ 2-1 lead in a 6-1 win.
Brewers: RHP Gus Varland was activated from the injured list more than three weeks after a line drive by San Diego resident Manny Machado lost his pitching hand before hitting him in the chin and left forearm. The hand problem had put him on the injured list. The Brewers selected LHP Bennett Sousa to Triple-A Nashville.
Dodgers: DH JD Martinez is expected to return Friday for the start of a home series with San Diego. Martinez has been on the injury list since April 28 with lower back strains. … Max Muncy returned to the field and played third base on Tuesday. He was limited to a designated hitter role Monday due to illness. … The Dodgers recalled Brühl and put RHP Caleb Ferguson on the paternity list.
Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 2.53) starts for the Dodgers and Wade Miley (3-1, 2.31) starts for the Brewers as that three-game streak concludes in a left-handers matchup Wednesday. ___
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Steve Megargee, The Associated Press