Dodgers edge Brewers in Game 1 with strong pitching effort – Daily News



The Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 is congratulated by Justin Turner #10 after hitting a home run in the bottom of the seventh inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodger pitcher Julio Urias #7 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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The Brewers’ Keston Hiura #18 throws to first base for a double play as the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger #35 slides into second base in the bottom of the sixth inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts #50 makes a running catch on a deep fly ball hit by the Brewers’ Avisail Garcia #24 in the top of the fourth inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Brewers’ Keston Hiura #18 slides in to second base attempting to break up a double play as the Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 throws to first in the top of the top of the third inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger #35 singles in the bottom of the sixth inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 hits a home run in the bottom of the seventh inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the bottom of the seventh inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the bottom of the seventh inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Brewers’ Orlando Arcia celebrates after hitting a two run homer in the top of the fourth inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 walks around the mound after giving up a two run homer to the Brewers’ Orlando Arcia #3 in the top of the fourth inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Brewers’ Orlando Arcia heads for home plate after hitting a two run homer in the top of the fourth inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts #50 scores after being walked home by Brewers pitcher Brent Suter #35 in the bottom of the first inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 heads for home on a walk in the bottom of the first inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Brewers starting pitcher Brent Suter #35 walks back to the mound as the Dodgers’ Corey Seager #5 is walked home in the bottom of the first inning during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Brewers starting pitcher Brent Suter #35 during game one of their best-of-three National League Wild Card Series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LOS ANGELES — There was already a 14-win gap between the two teams in this Wild Card Series. When the Milwaukee Brewers lost two of their best pitchers and another starting pitcher due to injuries, they arrived for a knife fight wielding a plastic spork.

But those things can hurt.

The Dodgers scored three times in the first two innings then hung on through a series of new-age pitching machinations by both managers to take Game 1 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Woodruff are scheduled to start Game 2 on Thursday for the Dodgers and Brewers, respectively. That at least holds out the potential for a more turnkey pitching matchup.

Wheels were turning all game Wednesday as Dave Roberts and Craig Counsell tried to manage their way through their unique pitching challenges.

In Roberts’ case, it was the blister that sent Game 1 starter Walker Buehler to the injured list twice in the last five weeks of the season. Buehler brushed off questions about his index finger Tuesday, saying everything was “fine.” But it clearly remains an ongoing concern.

Before the game Wednesday, Roberts said he would be “threading the needle” on how far to push Buehler, knowing that “once you see” the blister flaring up it’s too late and “understanding we need him for the next four series to win the World Series.”

That thread unspooled for only four innings and 73 pitches. Buehler was dominant for the first three, allowing just one hit and striking out two an inning.

In the fourth, though, Daniel Vogelbach poked a double down the left field line and Orlando Arcia ripped an 0-and-2 fastball from Buehler into the left-field pavilion.

Julio Urias, moved to the bullpen in this best-of-three series, followed Buehler and contributed three scoreless innings.

The Dodgers’ offense could have made it easier for Buehler and Urias by building on the head start they were given.

Without starters Corbin Burnes (oblique) or Brett Anderson (blister), Counsell went with Brent Suter as his Game 1 starter. Suter walked just five batters in 31 2/3 innings during the regular season but he walked four of the first seven Dodgers he faced during a 32-pitch first inning — just nine strikes.

Two Dodgers drove in runs without swinging the bat (bases-loaded walks to Will Smith and A.J. Pollock). Mookie Betts made it 3-0 with an RBI double in the second inning.

Then Counsell waved his bullpenning wand. Eric Yardley and Justin Topa retired the next 10 Dodgers in order.

Corey Seager finally gave the Dodgers’ bullpen a larger cushion, crushing a 447-foot solo home run off Freddy Peralta in the seventh. It was the 38th home run the Dodgers have hit in the seventh inning or later this year, compared to 16 allowed in those innings.

Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen closed it out though a two-out walk in the ninth inning brought Christian Yelich to the plate as the tying run. Jansen struck him out.