LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' bullpen squandered a quality start from Matt Magill in his Major League debut and an opportunity to beat the Brewers with a patchwork lineup.
Matt Guerrier served up a two-run homer in the seventh, plus another in the eighth, and the Dodgers lost to the Brewers, 6-4, on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
Magill, 23, started in place of Stephen Fife, who was placed on the disabled list before the game with right shoulder bursitis. The right-hander, called up from Triple-A Albuquerque, didn't appear to be rattled under the bright lights and allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven against two walks and made 103 pitches.
"I was just amazed by his confidence and his composure and his ability to slow the game down," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He was in complete control of his mannerisms and his body and he was great. He was amazing. It was a big pick-me-up for our team."
Magill, ranked No. 7 among the Dodgers' top prospects, walked off the field to a standing ovation in the seventh after striking out Jean Segura to end his outing. As Magill headed to the dugout, it looked as if he would go out a winner with the Dodgers leading, 3-2.
"Walking off the field was awesome," said Magill, who grew up in nearby Simi Valley. "Everyone cheering for me, that was huge and I really appreciate all of it."
But the Brewers rallied against the Dodgers' bullpen to improve to 10-2 in their last 12 games.
Paco Rodriguez relieved Magill and allowed a bunt single to Norichika Aoki. Second baseman Skip Schumaker, starting in place of the injured Mark Ellis, grabbed the slow roller with his bare hand and fired it into the Brewers' dugout, allowing Aoki to move into scoring position.
Guerrier came on for Rodriguez, and Gomez took the right-hander deep to left on a 1-1 curveball that caught too much of the plate. Gomez was looking for that pitch too, and didn't miss it.
"I knew he was going to come with a front-door curve on the inside," said Gomez, a former teammate of Guerrier's with the Twins. "I was going to stay back, wait until the moment I could drop the head [of the bat] to the ball, and that's what I did."
It was the matchup the Dodgers wanted, though. Gomez had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his career against Guerrier.
"Matt has good numbers with these guys, good numbers with Gomez and it didn't work out tonight," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Guerrier returned for the eighth, and Martin Maldonado belted a hanging slider into the Dodgers' bullpen.
"That's what happens when breaking pitches hang in the zone a little bit longer than you want," A.J. Ellis said. "It's kind of the fine line you have to play when you're throwing breaking balls. When they're good and down in the zone, you get a lot of outs and swings and misses. But when they hang and they stay up, they go a long way."
The Dodgers tried to mount a comeback, but came up just short.
Andre Ethier launched a solo shot to left to lead off the eighth and cut the deficit to 6-4.
In the ninth, the Dodgers had runners on the corners and two out. A.J. Ellis hit a grounder up the middle that looked like it would reach the outfield, but Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez ranged to his left to snag the ball, turned and bounced a throw to first to end the game.
"Off the bat, I thought it had a chance up the middle, but that's one of the best defensive shortstops of all-time in my opinion," said Ellis, who had an RBI single in the third. "As soon as I saw him enter the picture, I knew it was going to be tough [to beat the throw]."
Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the lineup an hour before the game due to a small skin infection on his right leg. The first baseman went to the hospital but was back in the Dodgers' dugout by the second inning and came on to play first after a double-switch in the seventh and went 0-for-2.
The Dodgers hoped Gonzalez would be back in time to start the game, but it took longer than expected to receive antibiotics at the hospital.
"It's not bothering me, we just wanted to be proactive," said Gonzalez, who leads the team with 17 RBIs. "We didn't want [the infection] to get out of hand so we decided to go to the hospital."
That forced Mattingly to play Jerry Hairston at first for only the second time in his career. Hairston was solid defensively, though, and doubled in his first at-bat.
The Dodgers aren't planning on keeping Magill in the rotation for an extended period because Chris Capuano is likely to return from the disabled list as early as May 6. Nevertheless, Magill said it felt good to show the organization he can be an effective Major League starter.
"I just wanted to come and show that I could do it," Magill said. "Whatever happens here on out, I have no control."
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.