(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive tonight, when they kick off a six-game road trip with the first of three straight matchups against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Los Angeles is 7 1/2 games off the pace in the National League Wild Card standings and has dropped eight of its last 12 games. In Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a three-game series, Clayton Kershaw was dealt the defeat for giving up three runs with 11 strikeouts in seven innings.
"Clayton settled down after the first inning," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "But when you don't put up runs it puts a lot of stress on our pitchers. We struggled against a pretty good pitcher [Bronson Arroyo] today."
Matt Kemp homered and A.J. Ellis finished with three hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, who will also visit Colorado for three games on the trip.
Ted Lilly has won all four of his starts with the Dodgers and will take the mound again Tuesday night. Lilly has pitched to a 1.29 earned run average in his first four starts with his new team and is coming off a two-hit shutout of the Rockies last Thursday.
Lilly, a lefty, entered that game after tossing six scoreless frames in a win at Atlanta on August 14 and is 7-8 with a 3.23 ERA for the Cubs and Dodgers this season. He owns a 4-2 mark in 10 career games (nine starts) against Milwaukee.
The Brewers had a four-game winning streak cut short in Sunday's 7-3 loss to the San Diego Padres in the finale of a three-game series.
Manny Parra was rocked for seven runs and eight hits in six innings to absorb the loss, while Ryan Braun ended 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI for Milwaukee, which also got two hits from Rickie Weeks, Chris Dickerson and Jonathan Lucroy.
"My fastball was terrible all day," said Parra. "That's what came back to bite me. I fell behind and couldn't locate my pitches and that's what happened."
Milwaukee, which will also host Pittsburgh in Brew City, is slated to send Dave Bush to the mound in Tuesday's series opener. Bush is 6-10 with a 4.63 earned run average in 25 games (24 starts) this season and is coming off a win at St. Louis last Tuesday.
Bush held the Cardinals to a run and four hits in six innings after going 0-2 in his three preceding starts. The righty is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles.
The Brewers took two of three matchups with Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine back in early May and have won five of the last eight contests between the two ballclubs.