LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Villar hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the top off the ninth inning, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night in the opener of their four-game series.
Villar launched the first pitch he saw from Pedro Baez (0-2) an estimated 420 feet to straightaway center field for his sixth home run and first career game-winner in the ninth.
Tyler Thornburg (3-1) earned the win with a scoreless eighth inning. Jeremy Jeffress struck out Corey Seager with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the win for his 19th save.
Aaron Hill and Chris Carter also homered for the Brewers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Trayce Thompson doubled, homered and drove in three to lead the Dodgers, who erased deficits of 3-0 and 6-3 before ultimately falling.
Villar’s blast capped a wild back-and-forth affair.
Milwaukee jumped in front 3-0 in the third inning on Jonathan Lucroy’s two-run single and Hernan Perez’s sacrifice fly, but Thompson hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third to tie it.
Milwaukee jumped out to another three run lead in the fifth against reliever Casey Fien. Hill homered to lead off the inning, and two batters later Chris Carter drilled a hard liner the other way that just snuck over the wall in right-center for a two-run homer to make it 6-3.
Again, the Dodgers erased the deficit, knotting the game in the sixth. Trailing 6-5 with with one out and runners on the corners, Justin Turner lifted a routine fly ball caught by left fielder Ryan Braun. As Joc Pederson attempted to tag up from third base, Yasmani Grandal also tried to tag up from first. Braun’s throw went to second instead of home, where a surprised Grandal was tagged out at almost the precise moment Pederson crossed home plate with the tying run. The ruling on the field was that Pederson scored before Grandal was tagged, and it was held up after video review initiated by a Milwaukee challenge.
That’s where the score remained until the ninth, when Villar gave Milwaukee the lead one last time and Jeffress was able to preserve it.
Manager Dave Roberts said OF Yaisel Puig (hamstring) is on track to be activated from the disabled list Monday. Puig went 1 for 2 with a stolen base and played seven innings in right field in a rehab game for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. … RHP Kenta Maeda (leg contusion) played catch in the outfield without issue. He is scheduled to start Sunday against the Brewers. … RHP Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John surgery) pitched three innings in a rehab start for Rancho Cucamonga. His still has no set timetable to return. … LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder surgery) will make his fourth rehab start for Rancho Cucamonga on Friday.
RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 3.88) has won four consecutive starts for the Brew Crew and his last five decisions overall. His last loss came on April 29.
LHP Julio Urias (0-2, 5.82) aims for his first career win for the Blue Crew after showing improvement his last two starts. The touted 19-year old has a 2.89 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings in his previous two outings.
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