MILWAUKEE -- With Zack Grienke and Clayton Kershaw waiting for his team over the next two days, Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wasn't taking any chances Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, using five pitchers and three pinch hitters to cover the final three innings.
The moves paid off, as Milwaukee took advantage of two errors by shortstop Justin Turner in the bottom of the seventh and got a three-run home run from second baseman Rickie Weeks in the eighth as the Brewers knocked off the Dodgers, 9-3, at Miller Park.
"You always want to start out the series right, but I thought it was a big one to win," Roenicke said. "We know how good this team is and how good they've been playing, and we know the pitching that we're going to face the next couple nights. So it was important to win this game."
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, pinch-hitter Weeks drew a one-out walk and took second on pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds base hit.
Catcher Martin Maldonado then laid down a bunt that right-hander Brandon League tried to scoop with his glove then toss to catcher Drew Butera, but instead, the tying run scored and Maldonado reached on a fielder's choice.
League held the runners on a short fly by shortstop Elian Herrera, but Turner couldn't pick up a grounder by pinch-hitter Khris Davis, then made a bad throw on a bouncer by center fielder Carlos Gomez that loaded the bases. Left fielder Gerardo Parra then drove in two more with a single to center.
"It was a pretty good game there until the seventh," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Defensively, we kind of let our pitching down. Our defense in general let it down. It's unfortunate because Brandon came in and got ground balls like we ask him to do and we just didn't get what we wanted."
The Brewers' bullpen spoiled a rough but effective start from right-hander Kyle Lohse, who battled through six innings but held the Dodgers to a run on six hits and two walks.
The only blemish on Lohse's line came by way of an Adrian Gonzalez home run in the sixth but Lohse, who also allowed a double and hit third baseman Juan Uribe with a pitch in the inning, worked out of the jam and handed over a 2-1 lead to right-hander Rob Wooten in the seventh, having thrown 105 pitches.
"It's weird, because you look at them, they're a first pitch swinging club, but they didn't really put too many first pitch balls in play," Lohse said. "They took some really good at-bats, and it cost me a lot of pitches early in the game. You look up, I think I faced two over the minimum through the first two and I'm at 40-some pitches. That's not where I want to be, obviously, but you just try to battle and get through as many as you can."
The Brewers gave Lohse an early lead with a pair of runs off Dodgers right-hander Roberto Hernandez.
Making his first start for the Dodgers after being traded from Philadelphia on Thursday, Hernandez allowed three consecutive one-out hits, capped off by an RBI single from third baseman Aramis Ramirez to make it a 1-0 game.
Second baseman Scooter Gennett's sac fly to center drove in another, but also started a string of 17 consecutive batters retired by Hernandez, who went six innings and scattered three hits with five strikeouts.
"He attacked the strike zone, worked quick and had good stuff," Mattingly said. "It was impressive."
Milwaukee won its second consecutive game and stayed 1.5 games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who also won Friday, in the NL Central.
The Dodgers' three-game winning streak came to an end but they remained 3 1/2 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants, who lost at Kansas City, in the NL West.
NOTES: Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez left the game after drawing a first inning walk because of tightness on his right side. He was replaced by pinch-runner Miguel Rojas, who remained in the game at shortstop. ... The Brewers will recall RHP Mike Fiers from Triple-A Nashville after the game. Fiers will start Saturday in place of RHP Matt Garza, who was placed on the 15--day disabled list earlier this week with a strained left oblique. In a corresponding roster move, RHP Rob Wooten was optioned to Nashville. ... Los Angeles placed RHP Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a left hip impingement. RHP Roberto Hernandez, acquired Thursday from the Philadelphia Phillies, was added to the Dodgers' roster and started in Beckett's place Friday.