Stewart likely to get 2nd look in LA rotation

Roberts praises right-hander's poise in 5-inning debut

June 30th, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- The Brock Stewart summerfest will not be a one-and-done event. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, following Stewart's Major League debut Wednesday night in a 7-0 loss to the Brewers, said there is a "high possibility" the 24-year-old gets another start in five days.

That means Stewart nearly balanced the books on a five-run second inning by holding the Brewers at bay the other four innings. It also means the Dodgers have virtually no other options to fill the fifth starter spot, especially as they await word on how serious No. 1 starter Clayton Kershaw is injured.

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Stewart has the feel-good story -- son of a scout, meteoric rise in three months from Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga to pitch in Miller Park with the Dodgers, with dozens of family and friends making the four-hour drive from his hometown in Normal, Ill.

He struck out the first two batters he faced in a perfect first inning, but with one out in the second, he was stung by his club's defensive alignment, as Chris Carter dribbled a broken-bat roller to the second baseman's usual spot, vacated by Chase Utley, who was shifted over toward shortstop. Aaron Hill then blooped a single that Yasiel Puig fumbled, putting runners on the corners.

"The first two hits were pretty frustrating, and I probably let it get to me more than should have," Stewart said. "I left balls up and they don't miss them here, apparently. I didn't slow myself down and make better pitches. You live and you learn."

Kirk Nieuwenhuis then drove a fastball off the plate for a three-run opposite-field homer. With two outs, opposing pitcher Junior Guerra singled, Jonathan Villar singled, Scooter Gennett walked to load the bases and Ryan Braun (who later homered off Chris Hatcher) doubled home two.

Stewart would have had to throw a shutout just for a no-decision with the offense struggling against Brewers right-hander Junior Guerra. Corey Seager doubled in the first inning, tagged to third on Justin Turner's flyout, and the Dodgers never had a runner in scoring position again. With eight relievers to pick up innings that young pitchers like Stewart and Julio Urias are unable to finish, the Dodgers are playing with a short bench, a situation made even more critical by carrying the injured Joc Pederson.

Stewart said if he had it to do over again, he would have "breathed more." After 95 pitches, Roberts told Stewart he was finished -- and a few other things.

"I thought he did a nice job, and after the fifth, you still got to put the situation in perspective, and I didn't want him to get down on himself," he said. "To get here, I wanted him to be in the moment, results notwithstanding. Things here happen so quickly. Look at the quality of contact, he pitched better than the linescore. It happens quickly. Still, seven [strikeouts], five innings. It's a tough stage, but I thought he handled himself well."

Stewart gave credit for his career to his father, Jeff, who now scouts for San Diego and was in attendance Wednesday.

"I'm sure he's proud," he said, "I'm here because of him. He shaped my whole life and I just want to make him happy, and hopefully I am."