LOS ANGELES — The dog days of summer feel just fine to the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mookie Betts went 3 for 4 and scored four runs, and the Dodgers benefitted from two catcher’s interference calls to win their 10th in a row, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 on Wednesday night.
The Dodgers increased their NL West lead to 10 games over second-place San Francisco. They’ve outscored the opposition 61-22 during their winning streak.
“August is the worst month of the season,” Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw said. “For us to be playing as well as we are right now, it’s fun.”
Freddie Freeman ended an 0-for-14 skid with a 3-for-5 performance to go with stellar defense on a night when the Dodgers turned three double plays.
Five of the Dodgers’ seven runs came with two outs, including Chris Taylor’s solo shot in the seventh.
Kershaw (11-4) allowed one run and three hits in five innings, struck out two and walked two in his second start since coming off the injured list. The left-hander’s 208th victory moved him within one of tying Don Drysdale for second on the franchise’s all-time wins list.
“Better to be lucky than good,” Kershaw said. “The last one (start) was better than this one. Games like tonight where you don’t really have your best stuff, it’s definitely a huge blessing to have such a great team. I think Wade (Miley) honestly pitched better than I did. He just had some unlucky breaks.”
Brewers catcher William Contreras was called for interference in the first and second innings that led to runs, both times involving batter J.D. Martinez. Contreras leads the majors with five interference calls this season.
“I didn’t know J.D. was a guy who can draw that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I guess Contreras didn’t get the memo that he might have a longer backswing there, so we’ll take it.”
The Dodgers snapped a 1-all tie in the second with a pair of two-out runs.
Miguel Rojas got things started with a solo shot.
Betts singled, Freeman doubled and Will Smith reached on an infield single to Miley (6-3) to load the bases. Contreras was called for interference by home-plate umpire Dan Merzel, allowing Betts to score and make it 3-1.
“We can win in many different ways,” Betts said.
The Dodgers tacked on two runs in the sixth for a 6-1 lead.
Freeman’s double to center was dropped at the wall by Joey Wiemer and Betts, running on contact with two outs, scored from first. Smith followed with a single to center and Freeman beat the tag at the plate.
Smith’s sacrifice fly extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-1 in the fourth.
Freeman completed his own double play in the fourth. Sal Frelick lined into Freeman’s glove and then he doubled Andruw Monasterio off first to end the inning.
Freeman made another sparkling defensive play in the fifth. Wiemer grounded to third and Max Muncy fired a long throw to Freeman, who stretched full-length as he fell on his face while keeping his foot on the bag for the first out of a 1-2-3 inning for Kershaw.
The Brewers’ lone run came on Mark Canha’s solo homer — his first with Milwaukee — leading off the second. Christian Yelich was hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout.
Miley gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out two and walked two. Two of his three losses have come against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: RHP Joe Kelly (elbow) will throw a bullpen session Friday.
RHP Corbin Burnes (9-6, 3.60 ERA) goes for the Brewers and RHP Lance Lynn (9-9, 5.88) starts for the Dodgers in the series finale Thursday.