LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers have both used bitter defeats last October to drive them to fast starts this season.
Then there is the case of relief pitcher Joe Kelly.
Kelly won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox, which may explain his baffling start as a Dodger.
So far this month the reliever from Anaheim has pitched five innings in which he has allowed nine hits and seven earned runs.
Kelly gave up another costly run Friday night as the Dodgers lost to Milwaukee 8-5 at Dodger Stadium.
Milwaukee jumped on Julio Urias’ control issues to score twice in the first inning. Lorenzo Cain, former Dodger Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas wrapped base hits around a walk to Ryan Braun.
Herman Perez followed Moustakas by reaching on a Urias throwing error with his second home run of the season in the fourth. An inning later Christian Yelich was hit by a pitch and Grandal’s third home run of the season made it 6-5.
The Dodgers used Corey Seager’s second home run of the year in the first inning and two-run drives by Cody Bellinger in the second inning and Joc Pederson in the fourth.
The drama came in the eighth.
With runners at the corners, onetime JetHawk Josh Hader was summoned to face pinch hitter Max Muncy and Seager.
The fireballing Milwaukee left-hander overpowered Muncy, but walked Seager to load the bases before striking out Justin Turner to strand three runners.
For the second straight Friday home game, a home plate umpire had to leave the game after being struck flush in the facemask with a 95-mph fastball.
Brian Knight took a Corbin Burnes pitch right in the facemask while Pederson led off the home half of the first inning.
Knight, who was similarly drilled in the mask during spring training, immediately left the game as a concussion protocol precaution.