Freddy Peralta looks to stay hot as Brewers face Dodgers

After a slow start to June, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta insisted he was healthy, and he proved his point with one of his strongest runs of the season.

Peralta will take the mound Saturday in the middle game of a three-game road series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is coming off a seven-inning outing against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in which he gave up one run on two hits.

Over his past three outings, Peralta is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. The three starts prior to that stretch, he was 1-1 with a 7.90 ERA.

Peralta (6-4, 3.83 ERA) has been dependable in a season when the Brewers have used 16 different starters, with recently acquired Aaron Civale making his debut for the club Friday. And yet Milwaukee has a five-game lead atop the National League Central.

“We just have to keep doing what we have been doing,” said Peralta, who is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers. “Maybe some people don’t see us like we’re going to be in a good spot. In spring training, they didn’t expect us to be where we are right now. But we’re the Brewers, and we’ve been doing this for the last six years.”

Civale gave up four runs on five hits in five innings during a no-decision against the Dodgers. The Brewers lost 8-5 despite hitting yet another grand slam. Rhys Hoskins socked Milwaukee’s sixth grand slam in the past 13 games.

The Dodgers showed their own power game, getting three home runs from Will Smith and another from Miguel Vargas.

After trailing by three runs in the fourth inning, the Dodgers tied it in the seventh on Smith’s third long ball. Freddie Freeman then hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth to lift Los Angeles to the win.

Smith had a chance at becoming the third Dodgers player to have four home runs in a game, but he ended up with a walk in the eighth inning before Freeman had his clutch hit.

“A lot of good at-bats right before (Freeman), guys getting on base,” Smith said on the SportsNet LA broadcast. “Freddie doing what he does, just driving guys in. It was a big win. A big team win right there.”

Not participating in the power display was Los Angeles designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, who went 0-for-5 and ended a run of six strikeouts in six plate appearances when he lined out in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers are looking for more from left-hander James Paxton (7-2, 4.28 ERA), who will start Saturday after he gave up nine runs on 12 hits in four innings during Los Angeles’ 10-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

“They were definitely hunting fastball,” Paxton said. “Every time we went to it, they weren’t missing it. I feel like I was leaving the ball over the plate a little bit too much for them.”

The Brewers are one of two major league clubs Paxton has yet to face, along with the Miami Marlins.

–Field Level Media