Dodgers Lose On Close Play at the Plate


Posted Apr 19, 2012


Nyjer Morgan scored on a fly ball by Ryan Braun in the 10th inning, giving the Brewers a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night — Milwaukee's second late-inning thriller in a row.

Nyjer Morgan tagged up and took off, running past a stop sign from his third base coach. And he might have been tagged out just before he reached home on a sideways slide.

None of that mattered when Morgan was called safe then mobbed by his teammates after scoring the winning run in the 10th inning to lead the Brewers over the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Wednesday night -- the second late-inning thriller in a row for Milwaukee.

''Nyjer, he's got energy, and he felt it,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Morgan's decision to ignore the sign from third base coach Ed Sedar. ''Sometimes a player sees something a little different than a coach does.''

Then came perhaps the most unlikely development of the night: The Brewers' eccentric center fielder left the clubhouse without making some sort of offbeat comment about his big night to reporters.

For what it's worth, Brewers starter Zack Greinke thought Morgan made the right decision.

''I thought he should have tagged,'' Greinke said. ''You've got to make a good throw, and Nyjer's fast. I thought it was worth the risk.''

With the bases loaded and one out, Ryan Braun lofted a shallow fly ball to center field.

Morgan tagged up and took off for home despite the stop sign from Sedar and was called safe on a close play at the plate -- although replays showed that he may have been tagged out.

''I had the luxury of seeing the replay,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''We should still be playing.''

Mattingly called the play ''another argument for instant replay.''

Reliever Matt Guerrier (0-1) took the loss for the Dodgers, who have lost the first two games of the series.

Kameron Loe (1-0) earned the win.

Aramis Ramirez hit his first home run of the season for the Brewers, a massive shot that could help him shake off a sluggish start to the season with his new team.

Ramirez hammered a pitch deep to left center field to tie the game at 2 in the sixth. It was his 313th career homer as a third baseman, giving him sole possession of eighth place on the all-time list of homers at the position.

Ramirez said he wasn't feeling any extra pressure to perform after starting the season slowly.

''It happens,'' Ramirez said. ''It's just unfortunate that it happened for a new team. But like I said, I've been around long enough that I know that you're going to have ups and downs. It's a long season.''

Guerrier walked Jonathan Lucroy to lead off the bottom of the 10th, and Lucroy was lifted for Morgan as a pinch runner. Cesar Izturis then popped out on a bunt attempt, but Morgan stole second with Rickie Weeks at the plate, then went to third on a bad throw by catcher A.J. Ellis.

The Dodgers put Weeks on first with an intentional walk, bringing backup catcher George Kottaras to the plate as a pinch hitter. The Brewers also won Tuesday night's series opener in thrilling fashion, on a two-run double in the ninth by Kottaras.

The Dodgers made a defensive shift, with five infielders and two outfielders, and Weeks stole second. Guerrier then walked Kottaras to load the bases for Braun with one out.

Greinke gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

''Last year, it seemed like we had so many games like the last two where we just found a way to win the game,'' Greinke said. ''Like tonight wasn't anything special, but we found a way to win.''

Greinke came into Wednesday's game with a 12-0 record and 2.91 ERA in 16 starts as a Brewer at Miller Park. His 12-game home winning streak is the longest in franchise history.

Greinke was coming off a rough road outing against the Cubs last Thursday, where he gave up eight runs in only 3 2/3 innings and took the loss.

Dodgers starter Chris Capuano went six innings, giving up two runs against his former team. Capuano had two separate stints with the Brewers, from 2004-07 and in 2010, and was an All-Star in 2006.

''I feel comfortable here,'' Capuano said. ''It almost felt like a home game my last two starts here.''

NOTES: Brewers SS Alex Gonzalez returned to the lineup after missing three games for the birth of his son on Sunday. ... Andre Ethier lined into a double play in the fourth, when Carlos Gomez threw behind Kemp to double him up at first base. ... Milwaukee LHP Randy Wolf (0-1, 10.61) faces RHP Aaron Harang (0-1, 5.91) in the series finale Thursday afternoon.


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