Sun, Oct 21, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Brewers force Game 7 versus Dodgers

‘UNBELIEVABLE’:Facing a must-win situation to keep their season alive, the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday responded against the Los Angeles Dodgers with an early offensive flurry

Reuters, MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Orlando Arcia, left, and Ryan Braun celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Numerous scoreboard messages on Friday night directed Milwaukee Brewers fans to make themselves heard, but they were extra glitz compared with the inspiration that the Brewers’ bats provided.

Milwaukee scored four runs in the first inning and did not look back, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series to force a decisive seventh game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“I thought the fans were going to open the roof, it was so loud,” Brewers relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress said. “It was unbelievable.”

Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to oppose Dodgers righty Walker Buehler in the first Game 7 played in Milwaukee in Brewers franchise history.

Facing a must-win situation to keep their season alive, the Brewers on Friday responded with an early offensive flurry to back left-hander Wade Miley and three relievers. Jesus Aguilar had three hits and three RBIs, while Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun collected two hits apiece as the Brewers out-hit the Dodgers 11-5.

“To score four right there in the first inning was very encouraging,” Braun said.

Miley spaced two runs, five hits, two walks and four strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings, after rebounding from an early Dodgers strike. Typically a threat in the middle of the batting order, Dodgers first baseman David Freese led off and homered to right field on the fifth pitch of the game.

Milwaukee’s two-out eruption in the bottom of the first against Dodgers left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin offered an invaluable boost. Aguilar opened the rally with a two-run, opposite-field double to right field, snapping out of a slump that had plagued the first baseman for much of the post-season.

“Aggie’s hit, you couldn’t describe it as any bigger,” Counsell said.

A Mike Moustakas double to right scored Aguilar on the next pitch, and catcher Erik Kratz’s RBI single sent Moustakas home one batter later. Even Miley tagged a ball, flying out to deep center to end the inning.

With the Dodgers one victory away from advancing to successive World Series for the first time since the 1977-1978 season, Ryu (0-1) allowed four earned runs in the first inning and five on seven hits in three innings overall.

“That’s sort of the situation we were in,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They were taking good at-bats against him. There’s the thought of trying to go to your pen in the first inning or the second inning, but there’s a significant cost potentially for a Game 7.”

The Brewers are seeking the franchise’s first World Series appearance since 1982.

“I mean, Game 7 to go to a World Series, I don’t know if it gets more high stakes than that,” Buehler said. “And I think if you approach it the right way — it’s hard to put into words what could happen and what we hope happens.”

Los Angeles finished zero for three with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base in Game 6. Milwaukee right-hander Corey Knebel escaped trouble against the heart of the Dodgers’ order in the fifth to set the tone for the bullpen, a Brewers’ strength throughout the playoffs.

Entering the game with two on and one out, Knebel got Justin Turner to fly out to center before retiring Manny Machado on a swinging strikeout to end the threat.

“Anybody, anywhere, anytime,” Knebel said, repeating the bullpen’s credo. “We’re ready to go. So starters get as much as they can get done, but you go as hard as you can for as long as you can, and come in and finish the rest. That’s our job and we did it pretty well tonight.”

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