Series: Game 3 of 4

LA Dodgers leads 2-1 (as of 6/4)

Game 1: Thursday, June 2
LA Dodgers6
Game 2: Friday, June 3
LA Dodgers5
Game 3: Saturday, June 4
LA Dodgers2
Game 4: Sunday, June 5
LA Dodgers10

Brewers 1

(26-29, 11-18 away)

Dodgers 2

(28-27, 14-15 home)

    10:10 PM ET, June 4, 2005

    Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 001000000 1 6 0
    LA 00020000 - 2 7 0

    W: D. Houlton (1-0)

    L: V. Santos (2-5)

    S: E. Gagne (5)

    California-born Houlton pitches Dodgers by Brewers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Making 87 starts in the minor leagues didn't help prepare D.J. Houlton for the anxiety he would feel in his first big league start.

    Houlton pitched effectively into the sixth inning to earn his first major league victory, J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent hit consecutive homers for the second time in three games, and the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Saturday night.

    Houlton (1-0) had a 7.13 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season before holding the Brewers to a run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander was born in nearby Fullerton and played high school ball down the freeway in Anaheim.

    "I was very nervous," said Houlton, who made 87 starts in the Houston Astros' minor league system over the previous four seasons before the Dodgers selected him in the Rule 5 draft last December.

    "It's really been something I've dreamed about, growing up around here and watching the Dodgers and the Angels. So just being able to go out there and make a start like that is overwhelming. I felt if I should go out there and just think more about location than velocity and not try to go all out on every pitch."

    Eric Gagne, the fifth Los Angeles pitcher, put a runner on third with one out but got Bill Hall to ground out to second for his fifth save.

    Victor Santos (2-5) lost his fourth straight road decision in his Dodger Stadium debut, allowing just two runs and six hits over seven innings before he was removed for a pinch-hitter.

    The right-hander struck out six, walked three and snapped an 0-for-34 drought at the plate with a single that led to Milwaukee's only run. Santos has allowed no more than two earned runs in nine of his 11 starts, but his teammates have scored no more than two runs in five of his last six outings.

    "He's been doing all we've asked for," first baseman Lyle Overbay said. "One of these days we'll score some runs for him."

    Dodgers third baseman Antonio Perez and manager Jim Tracy were ejected by plate umpire Marty Foster in the bottom of the seventh. The trouble started when Foster ruled that a pitch from Santos hit the knob of Perez's bat and not his hand -- initiating a long argument from Tracy.

    "He felt like the ball hit the knob of the bat and the player didn't feel like it completely got all of it," Tracy said. "He called it a foul ball and I disagreed with it, that's all."

    Perez asked for time just before Santos threw his next pitch, but Foster wouldn't allow it and Perez took a ball as the crowd booed the umpire. The inning ended with a strikeout-double play, and Perez was ejected after saying something to Foster as he walked away from the batter's box.

    "I know Jeff Cirillo asked for time the next inning, and Marty said, `Hey, you've got to speak up because I can barely hear you.' So he almost didn't give it to him because the crowd was really into it," Dodgers catcher Jason Phillips said.

    "In a game where there's been a lot of close calls, it's getting late and the game could go either way, tensions are running high," Phillips added. "So it gets a little heated in there and sometimes it feels like everybody's against you."

    The Brewers wasted a leadoff double in the fourth by Geoff Jenkins as Houlton retired Carlos Lee on a flyball, then struck out Overbay and Hall.

    In the bottom half, the Dodgers got their fifth set of back-to-back homers this season -- and third against the Brewers.

    Drew and Kent gave them a 2-1 lead with their 10th and 11th home runs, respectively. Drew sent a 1-0 pitch over the center-field fence and Kent drove Santos' next delivery into the lower seats in the left-field corner for the first of his three hits.

    It was the fourth time that Drew and Kent homered in the same game since signing with the Dodgers as free agents last December.

    "You're looking at two pretty good hitters right there, and they both got pitches they could handle," Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "If a guy's going to beat you to the biggest part of the yard, then you tip your hat to him. Kent followed up and got a lazy breaking ball, and he did to it what good hitters do. We throw 100 pitches, two of them are bad, and that's the ballgame."

    Damian Miller drew a leadoff walk in the third and took second on Junior Spivey's single. The Dodgers played in at first and third, anticipating a sacrifice bunt by Santos, but the pitcher crossed them up and hit a hard grounder through the box to load the bases. Miller scored on Brady Clark's double-play grounder.

    Game notes

    Houlton, who got the assignment after Wilson Alvarez surrendered 11 runs and five homers over eight innings in a pair of spot starts for the injured Odalis Perez, was the ninth pitcher to start a game for the Dodgers. Last season, they had 11 different starters. ... The Dodgers have had their projected starting outfield of Drew (RF), Werth (LF) and Milton Bradley (CF) in place only five times in their first 55 games because of injuries to Werth and Bradley. By contrast, the Brewers' starting outfield of Lee, Clark and Jenkins has been intact for all but five of their first 55 contests.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press