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05/04/10 9:52 PM ET

Streaky Crew ready for another in LA

When the Brewers are good at the plate, they are really good.

When they're not, they're really not.

"It's been feast or famine so far," Milwaukee's Ryan Braun said. "Obviously, the goal is to be consistent in scoring four or five per game instead of scoring in bunches and getting shut out the rest of the time. But baseball is crazy. You can't explain it."

The Brewers lost on May 17 at Washington, 8-0, then scored 10 runs in the first inning the next day on the way to an 11-7 win. Then they outscored the Pirates in a three-game sweep, 36-1, before being swept at home by the Cubs by a cumulative score of 25-4. Then they beat the Pirates the next day, 17-3.

The two games after that were close (both blown saves by closer Trevor Hoffman) but then the Brewers managed only two runs while dropping three of four games in San Diego by a total score of 21-2.

They scored nine runs in the second inning of Tuesday's 11-6 victory.

Count Dodgers slugger James Loney among those that have been really good. The first baseman went 1-for-4 with a two-out three-run homer in the eighth inning on Tuesday. He's 9-for-18 with his first two home runs of the season, 10 RBIs and three doubles through the first five games of the Dodgers' 10-game homestand.

It was the eighth time in his career Loney drove in four or more runs in one game.

"I feel pretty good, the work I'm putting in off the field is starting to come around," he said. "I mean yeah you're going to have these type of games, it's what you do after that to come back and be ready."

It will be up to Milwaukee starter Doug Davis to keep Loney in check Wednesday. It's quite a task when you consider Davis has been knocked out of each of his other five starts prior to the fifth inning. He gave up six runs (five earned) over four innings in his last start, and the Padres proceeded to hit only singles throughout the course of the game as the Brewers fell, 9-0. He is 5-4 for his career against the Dodgers, with a 3.51 ERA in 12 starts.

The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley, who has rebounded with two quality starts against Washington and Pittsburgh while trimming his ERA from 7.07 to 4.85. In his only start last year against the Brewers, he gave up five earned runs and four walks in a five-inning no-decision.

Brewers: Macha focused on LA's arms
Brewers manager Ken Macha was asked Tuesday about the impact of having Manny Ramirez on the Dodgers' disabled list.

"That's a pretty good question, but let me ask you this: He served a 50-game suspension last year, and how did they play?" Macha asked back.

The reply was, "Well."

"OK, you answered your own question," Macha said. "They're good! And they've got some very good pitchers. We're going to face one tonight [Clayton Kershaw, who was tagged for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings] and we're going to face another one tomorrow night. Pitching has more of an impact on the game than one position player."

Dodgers: Manny on the mend
Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a strikeout and an RBI as the designated hitter and Jeff Weaver allowed two unearned runs on two hits and struck out three with a walk in three innings on rehab assignment for Class A Inland Empire on Tuesday.

Weaver is eligible to return from the disabled list on Friday. Ramirez becomes eligible on Saturday.

Worth noting
Russell Martin entered Tuesday's homestand 1-for-17 with four strikeouts. He has six multihit games on the season, but the last came on April 22 in Cincinnati, where he had three in a row. He was going to have a day off last week but with Monday's off-day, he told manager Joe Torre he could play through the weekend's four-game series with the Pirates.

Martin seems to be pulling the ball. He grounded out to third base three times in the Dodgers' 9-3 win over the Pirates on Sunday. He went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, including two ground balls to shortstop.

"There were a couple opportunities when he hit the ball to third base, when we had second and third and things like that, that's probably the worst place to hit the ball," Torre said. "He was frustrated about that. He knows, he knows that his strength is right-center."

Martin is batting .190 against left-handers this season. He has a .273 career average against Davis in 22 career at-bats, without a home run.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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