The Milwaukee Brewers hope left-hander Eric Lauer can continue his success against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday when the teams meet in the middle game of a three-game series.
Lauer (3-3, 4.40 ERA) will be opposed by Dodgers right-hander Noah Syndergaard (1-3, 6.32).
Milwaukee, coming off a 1-5 road trip, took the series opener 9-3 on Monday night. Rookie Joey Wiemer and Willy Adames each hit a three-run homer and Freddy Peralta allowed just one run over six innings.
The Dodgers, who had won eight of their previous nine games, committed a costly error that led to three unearned runs off starter Tony Gonsolin. The Brewers had two other hits deflected by infielders.
“We’ve got to make plays,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said postgame. “I think that if you’re just giving teams extra outs, at some point in time, it’s going to cost you. And it does, regardless as far as pitches, who we use, extending innings, and today it cost us. Guys are working hard, but you’ve still got to go out there and make plays.”
Lauer is 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 11 career starts against the Dodgers. His .875 winning percentage is the best among active pitchers vs. Los Angeles with at least eight decisions.
Lauer lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his latest start, giving up four runs on four hits with four walks in a 7-1 loss at Colorado on Wednesday. Lauer, who allowed 27 homers last season, has given up six round-trippers this season in 30 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting .277 against him.
“Overall, I know there was a lot of walks, but I think the command was better tonight,” Lauer said after his last start. “I think I was driving through my lanes a lot better. As far as swing-and-miss, it’s hard to have swing-and-miss stuff in Colorado. But, I was happy with the way the ball and everything was coming out, so I think there’s a lot to build off of there.”
All three of Wiemer’s home runs have come at home. Fellow rookie Brice Turang extended his hitting streak to six games on Monday with a single in Milwaukee’s six-run seventh inning. Turang is batting .421 (8-for-19) with a double, three walks, two stolen bases and three runs over that span.
Syndergaard picked up his first win as a Dodger in his latest start, allowing three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on April 30.
Though Syndergaard has struggled this year, he isn’t in immediate jeopardy of losing his starting role.
Roberts said, “My expectation is that he’s going to have a lot of leash. I think he’s earned it. It’s not always linear how players perform. But he has really given himself to us as far as being open to getting better. So for me, it’s day to day but I’m expecting him to pitch well and pitch well for the rest of the season.”
Syndergaard is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA in five career appearances vs Milwaukee, with 40 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. He has not faced the Brewers since April 2019.
Mookie Betts doubled for one of the Dodgers’ six hits on Monday. Betts is batting .323 (10-for-31) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs over his past eight games.
–Field Level Media