LOS ANGELES -- With their hottest hitter, coldest hitter and newest hitter all doing damage, the Dodgers beat the Brewers on Wednesday night with a 6-4 walk-off win in 10 innings that lifted Los Angeles back into a tie for first place with idle Arizona in the National League West.
Yasmani Grandal, who hit .364 in July, opened August with a pair of home runs, including the game-winner off Matt Albers, which followed a leadoff single by Matt Kemp, who snapped an 0-for-26 drought in an eight-pitch at-bat leading off the 10th. Grandal's 19 home runs lead all MLB catchers.
"We had two slow runners, [Albers] is trying to get something on the ground, I'm trying to get something up in the zone to put in the air," Grandal said. "He hung one, and I was able to get a good swing on it. Matt battled it out to give me time to time [Albers] in the on-deck circle."
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Meanwhile, James Dozier made his Dodgers debut after getting traded from the Twins on Tuesday, and it was unforgettable. He went 3-for-4, which included the back end of back-to-back homers with Grandal in the fifth, a single to start a two-run rally in the seventh and a double in the eighth, when the Dodgers left the bases loaded.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak in which the Dodgers scored three total runs on nine hits and fell out of first place in their division.
"We haven't swung the bats well the last three games, but I just feel the fight's still there," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Sometimes it takes the big hit, and [Grandal] got that big hit and you could feel a bit of an exhale tonight. For Brian to follow with the back-to-back homer, that was big. After that, they started to fall for us. Yasiel [Puig] hit the ball hard to the opposite way, was really good to see. The fans feed off his energy. Cody Bellinger had good at-bats. It's one game, but I do believe it's a step in the right direction."
Kemp, Player Page for Max Muncy, Enrique Hernandez and Bellinger have all lacked traction at the plate, but not Grandal. With free agency looming at season's end, Grandal is coming off a month in which he scored 11 runs with four doubles, one triple, six home runs and 14 RBIs, along with a 1.215 OPS, in 22 games.
"July was very good to him, and we knew he's very streaky," Roberts said. "I don't know where we'd be without him. He's been one of the hottest hitters in the National League for quite some time."
Grandal has three multi-homer games this year and joined Roy Campanella (1953) as the only Dodgers catchers to have a multi-homer game and a walk-off homer in the same season.
Kemp, whose first half earned him a starting spot in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard and a solid shot at the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award, has been slumping the past week. However, Roberts said Kemp has been having bad luck, while Kemp shrugged off talk of the slump.
"I'm not worried about it," said Kemp, whose average has plunged from .353 on June 6 to .296. "I've got 250 more at-bats, and I'm going to grind it out. Nobody's worried."
After the Dodgers took a 4-2 lead in the seventh on Puig's RBI single and Hernandez's RBI safety squeeze, the Brewers responded in the eighth against a suddenly wild Scott Alexander. After two walks, Mike Moustakas doubled in a run, and with the bases loaded, Manny Pina tied the game with a single to left that nicked the glove of shortstop Chris Taylor.
Dodgers starter Rich Hill and Brewers starter Chase Anderson dueled to a six-inning, no-decision draw. Hill allowed two runs (one earned), while Anderson's lone blemishes were the back-to-back homers to Grandal and Dozier, which tied the game.
"Richie was good tonight," Roberts said of Hill. "As good as the last few times? No. The curve was good, not great, but he dropped down against [Christian] Yelich, a really hot hitter, and gave him fits. Richie kept us in the game tonight, and that's a credit to him."
Dozier committed an error the first time he touched the ball. Lorenzo Cain led off the game with a triple. Dozier received right fielder Puig's throw and bounced his relay into the Dodgers' dugout, with third baseman Manny Machado unable to stop the ball, allowing Cain to score.
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Another run scored with the aid of the Dodgers' defense in the third, and it was Cain again, who this time doubled with one out. With two outs, Cain scored from second on a wild pitch when Grandal couldn't find the ball.
"This was very much like the playoffs," Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "Playoff atmosphere. The crowd was into it, [the Dodgers] were into it, we were into it. It was fun. This is what baseball is about, coming down the stretch and playing these types of games."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Game stays tied in eighth: With the game tied, two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Moustakas was guarding the third-base line and robbed Taylor of a potential go-ahead hit, diving to his backhand side to field the sharp bouncer behind the bag and gunning to first just in time to end the inning.
"Wherever I was going to go, it was going to be a bang-bang play no matter what," Moustakas said. "So I just took my best shot and tried to get him at first, and it ended up working out for me."
The Dodgers have hit back-to-back home runs nine times this year. But this was only their second walk-off win of the season.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Since being activated from the disabled list on June 19, Hill is 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA and a .215 batting average against, with 56 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings.
HE SAID IT
"I love the 395 [feet] to center. That's a cool thing. I'm not used to that." -- Dozier, who homered to center field after previously playing his home games at Target Field in Minnesota, where it's 404 feet to center
The best pitching matchup of the series takes place in Thursday's finale at 6 p.m. PT, when Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw opposes Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. Even after two injuries this year, Kershaw has been effective when he's on the mound, as illustrated by a 2.52 ERA. The left-hander beat the Braves on the mound and at the plate in his last start, when he tossed 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball and went 1-for-1 with two RBIs and three walks.