No Fireworks; Only a 4-1 Loss to Brewers

Rafael Furcal got the Dodgers off to the best possible start, slugging a leadoff home run, driving the second pitch he saw into the right field seats, for his 13th leadoff homer in Dodger Blue and 26th of his career. But the offense started and stopped there and Milwaukee knocked Jason Schmidt out in the fourth inning then went on to win 4-1.

Schmidt Hit Hard in 4-1 Loss to Brewers Furcal was only 3-for-21 against Milwaukee starter Brandon Looper and his long shot was one of only four hits allowed by the Brewers' starter before leaving with two out in the seventh inning with his 10th win. The right-hander had allowed 11 runs and 17 hits over his previous 11 innings.

He has allowed nine home runs in his last six starts, including four against the Dodgers in a no-decision in July 10 at Milwaukee. But this night, he was more than Los Angeles could handle.

Those who came expecting some sort of vendetta were disappointed. One night after Guillermo Mota had hit Prince Fielder with a pitch as some sort of retaliation for Manny Ramirez behind hit earlier in the game, there was no apparent reaction by the Brewers, other than pounding out a business-like win to take the series two games to one.

Fielder, who was enraged by being hit, had attempted to enter the Dodgers' clubhouse after the game, knocked in the tying run with a ground ball in the third inning but went 0-for-5 amid a flood of boos from the 50,276 Dodgers fans in attendance.

The heavier security personnel that guarded the clubhouse doors was apparently not needed.

The loss was the seventh in 11 games for the Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors at 66-42 and hold a six-game lead over San Francisco and a 6.5 margin over Colorado in the NL West.

Schmidt, who had limited Atlanta to one hit over six innings in his previous start, was tagged with three runs in the fourth inning and took his second loss against two wins.

"Schmidt wasn't as sharp as he was last time," manager Joe Torre said. "He didn't have the same curveball. He didn't look like he was locating the way he did in Atlanta. He's scheduled for Monday, and we'll go from there."

Schmidt left in the fourth inning after hitting Craig Counsel with the bases loaded to force in the lead run. James McDonald came in and allowed a two-run double before retiring the side to end the scoring on the night.

After Furcal's home run, Juan Pierre beat out an infield hit. The Dodgers got their third hit in the fourth inning when Casey Blake singled to lead off the inning. Orlando Hudson picked up another single in the seventh and James Loney's ninth inning single was the fifth, and final Dodgers hit of the evening.

McDonald went on to add two scoreless innings. Ramon Troncoso, George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton supplied one each but the quiet Dodgers offense didn't post a serious threat after the first inning.

Schmidt struggled as hard as the offense. He allowed a runner to reach base in all of his four innings. He said that his off-speed pitches weren't effective.

"I just had a hard time getting the breaking ball over, and when I can't do that, I hardly have anything to mix in with the fastball. They were able to lock in on one pitch and eliminate the other ones."

Schmidt has alternated good and bad outings in his first four starts of the season and his earned run average (5.60) reflects that.

The Dodgers last real chance came in the bottom of the seventh when Russell Martin walked and Hudson single him to third with two out. Much to the delight of the crowd, Ramirez came out to pinch-hit with two outs but grounded out to end the inning.

Los Angeles hosts Atlanta in the first of three games tonight. The Dodgers took two of three from the Braves in Atlanta in their last meeting July 31-August 2.

LHP Randy Wolf (5-6, 3.47 ERA) was hurt by his defense in his most recent start and for the first time since June 24 he didn't record a quality start. He is 4-12 lifetime against the Braves and 0-5 since 2004.

The Dodgers again face their old friend RHP Derek Lowe (11-7, 4.21 ERA)?who beat his former teammates last Saturday in Atlanta. Lowe threw six innings and allowed three runs on five hits. In 66 career starts at Dodger Stadium, Lowe is 33-23 with a 3.21 ERA. His last start here came on Sept. 21 of last season, when he pitched seven shutout innings against the Giants.

 Score by innings
Milwaukee	001 300 000-4
Los Angeles	100 000 000-1

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  1  1  1  .267
Pierre lf	3  0  1  0  .314
 Sherrill p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	1  0  0  0  .234
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
Ethier rf	4  0  0  0  .273
Blake 3b	4  0  1  0  .287
Loney 1b	3  0  1  0  .291
Kemp cf	        4  0  0  0  .320
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .267
Hudson 2b	3  0  1  0  .292
Schmidt p	1  0  0  0  .167
 McDonald p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Ramirez ph	1  0  0  0  .309
 Totals	        32 1 5 1
 Milwaukee	35 4 9 4

 Home run- Furcal (6). RBI- Furcal (32).
LOB- Los Angeles 6, Milwaukee 9.

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Schmidt (2-2)	3.2  5  4-4  3  2  5.60
McDonald	2.1  3  0-0  0  1  4.35
Troncoso	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  1.95
Sherrill	1.0  0  0-0  0  2  0.00
Broxton	        1.0  1  0-0  1  0  2.77
 HBP- by Schmidt. T= 2:57. Att= 50,276.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Milwaukee stole three bases on Schmidt and have 39 steals overall, the lowest total in the majors. ...The Dodgers lost a series to the Brewers for the first time since April 2-4, 2007, snapping a string of four straight series wins. ...Furcal has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games, batting .338 (25-for-74) with 13 runs scored.