MILWAUKEE -- Awaiting word on the severity of shortstop Hanley Ramirez's injury, the Dodgers got a glimpse of what their offense in August could be like without him as they lost to the Brewers, 4-1, on Saturday night at Miller Park.
Zack Greinke wasn't sharp enough to do it alone, charged with four runs in six innings while allowing home runs to Khris Davis and Carlos Gomez. It was a rare loss for Greinke at Miller Park, his home stadium for 1 1/2 seasons, where his teams have gone 25-3 with him on the hill in his career. But his explanation for that record tells a lot about his old team and his current one.
"When I was with the Brewers, we scored like 11 runs a game," he said. "It doesn't matter what you do. My ERA here is 3.20, which is OK, but not anything amazing. It's just the team was so good."
He's on another good team now, a first-place team, but it doesn't score 11 runs a game. That's part of the reason he has only one win in his last six starts dating back to July 3, for a 12-8 overall record.
Greinke also had cautionary advice for Ramirez, who has been in and out of the Dodgers' lineup all season with various ailments, without a disabled-list stint to allow complete healing.
"I just want him to be healthy eventually, if it's four days or 30 days, or at least close to healthy," Greinke said. "You can't be hurt the whole year. Every year is a grind. I hope he takes the time and heals up completely, instead of grinding, grinding, grinding."
Greinke bowed out after grinding through six innings and 83 pitches, so he will be ready to go again in five days, the only obvious concession to typical midseason arm weariness that he says is manageable. A fastball that sat at 93 mph throughout his outing supported his claim of soundness.
"I'm fine," he said, although after the game the Dodgers traded for pitcher Kevin Correia, just in case Greinke or any other starter turns out not to be fine.
Not so much the Dodgers after losing the first two games of this series. They had to trade for Friday night starter Roberto Hernandez to replace the injured Josh Beckett, but the Brewers dipped into their farm system and called up Mike Fiers to replace the injured Matt Garza and Fiers allowed three hits over eight innings.
"We just didn't do anything with him," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Not a lot of action out there. We've seen him before. Wasn't like a total mystery. Can't blame it on that. He came right after us, attacked. Didn't seem afraid of us at all. He was better than us today."
Hot-hitting Adrian Gonzalez accounted for the only Dodgers run with a fourth-inning home run. They had only two other singles off Fiers. One was erased on a caught stealing, the other on a double-play grounder. Fiers' start was similar to his first Major League win in 2012, when he limited the Dodgers to one run on five hits for seven innings.
"He's got a lot of deception," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "You saw tonight, most of his pitches are 90, 91 mph. There's a lot of 89s but they all have a lot of life on them. When he's feeling good physically and mentally, that ball really comes out well. That's a good-hitting team. He threw a lot of fastballs that were getting by guys."
With one out in the second inning, Scooter Gennett singled off Greinke and Davis powered a high fastball into the Dodgers' bullpen in right-center for his 19th home run of the year. Hours later, Greinke still didn't know how that happened.
"I made a lot of mistakes today, but that was exactly where I wanted it to be," Greinke said. "I know he's really strong if he gets to it. I thought that was a pretty safe place to go. It surprised me and [catcher] A.J. [Ellis]. That was upsetting."
Gonzalez cut the lead in half one out into the fourth inning with the Dodgers' first hit, taking Fiers deep for his 17th home run, second in as many games and ninth at Miller Park.
But Gomez countered leading off the bottom of the sixth, pulling a first-pitch curveball off the left-field foul pole for his 18th home run. Jonathan Lucroy followed with his third single of the night to left field, Ryan Braun walked and Aramis Ramirez singled home Lucroy.
"The Gomez pitch was equally as bad as the Josh Hamilton pitch in the last start," Greinke said, referring to a pitch he threw to the Angels' outfielder that he called one of the worst pitches he's ever thrown.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.