LOS ANGELES (WSAU-TSN) Aramis Ramirez homered and knocked in two runs as the Milwaukee Brewers edged the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2, in the first test of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Shaun Marcum (3-3) allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking out nine through seven innings to earn the win. John Axford stranded the tying run on second in the ninth to record his eighth save of the year.
"When he was really good last year for all that time this is what he did," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said about Marcum. "He gets the hitters thinking offspeed and he throws a fastball by them, and his location was great."
Rickie Weeks also had an RBI for the Brewers, who snapped a two-game slide for their third win in five games.
Aaron Harang (3-3) gave up three runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks in five-plus innings to suffer the loss.
Andre Ethier and Jerry Hairston Jr. each had two hits and an RBI for Los Angeles, which had won its previous two games.
Axford entered for the ninth holding a 3-2 lead and issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Ivan De Jesus, who was immediately erased on a fielder's choice off the bat of Tony Gwynn Jr.
Gwynn then advanced to second on a wild pitch to place the tying run in scoring position, but Elian Herrera foul tipped a 2-2 fastball into the glove of George Kottaras to end the game.
The Dodgers took the early advantage when Gwynn led off the home first with a base hit, stole second, moved to third on Herrera's sacrifice bunt and came home on an Ethier double to left.
Los Angeles failed to add to its lead in the third inning by leaving the bases loaded and the Brewers were able to tie the game in fourth on Ramirez's leadoff blast over the right-center field wall.
Milwaukee then took the lead in the sixth when Norichika Aoki reached first on Harang's throwing error, advanced to second on a Ryan Braun walk and rounded third on a Ramirez base hit to center, knocking Harang out of the game.
Javy Guerra entered in relief and after a Kottaras sacrifice bunt moved Braun to third, Weeks lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Braun and give the Brewers a 3-1 advantage.
"This ends up being a one-run game basically and a game that you don't know what's going to happen. Anything could happen, but starting an inning with the one out instead of starting with no outs, that changes things," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said about Harang's error.
After the Dodgers stranded a man on third in the sixth, they were able to cut into their deficit in the eighth off Francisco Rodriguez when Bobby Abreu hit a leadoff single, stole second and came home on a Hairston base hit to left.
The Brewers and Dodgers play again Tuesday night. Coverage begins at 8:35pm CT on AM-550 FM-99.9 WSAU.