The Brewers took their chances on the base paths trying to break through against one of the game's best pitchers.
It worked just once on Sunday, not nearly enough times to beat Clayton Kershaw.
The left-handed ace allowed six hits in an eight-inning outing that qualified as a subpar effort for the two-time Cy Young Award winner, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Milwaukee 5-1 to avoid a three- game sweep in a matchup of NL divisional leaders.
"I think anytime you face a pitcher like Kershaw, if you try to just get stagnant, I don't think much is going to happen," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Kershaw (14-2) lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.78 and tied for the National League lead in victories. Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs, and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth off Jimmy Nelson (2-3).
Kershaw allowed a run and two walks with six strikeouts. He allowed leadoff hitters to reach base in four of the first five innings but benefited from a couple baserunning mistakes and failed aggressive play by the Brewers.
In the third, Nelson wasted his leadoff double after getting tagged out trying to advance from second on a grounder by Carlos Gomez. Later, Gomez was picked off first.
Rickie Weeks hit a leadoff double in fifth. Two batters later, Jean Segura popped up a squeeze attempt caught by a charging Kershaw in front of the plate. He threw to third to easily double off Weeks.
"You can't make mistakes against that guy," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said of the Dodgers ace.
The Brewers staked Nelson to an early 1-0 lead. Gomez walked and stole second before coming home on Ryan Braun's RBI single in the first.