Only recently has the Los Angeles Dodgers' offense started coming around, though not soon enough to provide much support for Josh Beckett in any of his outings.
Los Angeles seeks a fourth victory in its last five tries Friday night in the opener of a three-game set against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, who have won nine of the last 11 meetings.Since being acquired in a blockbuster deal with Boston in August, Beckett is 2-6 with a 3.57 ERA in 11 starts while receiving just 24 runs of support over 68 innings.That includes a 0-3 mark with a 3.48 ERA this season as the Dodgers (10-11) have scored only six times in the 24 innings Beckett has pitched. He struck out nine and gave up the game's only run in the bottom of the ninth of a loss to Arizona on April 14 in his best start since coming to Los Angeles.He's likely hoping for some offense from a Dodgers team that has scored 20 runs while winning three of its last four following a six-game skid.Los Angeles entered Thursday's contest with the New York Mets hitting just .190 with runners in scoring position, but Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe had RBI singles in the top of the ninth of a 3-2 win.Ethier had just two hits in his previous 22 at-bats prior to his tie-breaking single."Just hope to get `Dre turned in the right direction," manager Don Mattingly said.He's likely hoping the same for Beckett, who had possibly his worst effort as a Dodger his last time out after allowing six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 6-1 loss at Baltimore in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.The right-hander hasn't faced the Brewers since giving up six runs in an 11-7 loss while pitching for Boston on May 18, 2008, dropping him to 1-2 with an 8.84 ERA in four career starts against them.Los Angeles hasn't had much luck lately against Milwaukee, either. This marks the first meeting since the Brewers swept a four-game series at Dodger Stadium from May 28-31.Ryan Braun, who homered twice off Beckett the last time he faced Milwaukee, is only 2 for 19 in his last six versus the Dodgers, but he's hit safely in six of his last seven contests as the Brewers (11-9) have recovered from a slow start.Milwaukee, though, had its nine-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with a 2-1 loss at San Diego. It had the tying run in scoring position when Martin Maldonado was ruled out for being struck with his own batted ball outside the batter's box to end the game."To go into the ninth getting people on base gives you hope," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Then you score a run and get really excited and then you end it in a goofy way."Milwaukee looks to get back on track while giving the ball to Hiram Burgos, who is scheduled to make his second career start.Burgos (1-0, 1.80) gave up one run and five hits in five innings of a 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday and impressed catcher Jonathan Lucroy."He threw well and he definitely earned a second start right there," Lucroy told the team's official website. "He can throw strikes with all of his pitches, and that's a key point to being successful."The Brewers haven't lost a road series to the Dodgers since dropping two of three from Aug. 15-17, 2008.