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ARI@MIL Gm1: Roberts launches a solo homer to center

MILWAUKEE -- A pair of decisions by their manager will be dissected as well as an aggressive send by their third-base coach, but it was the lack of offense that really cost the D-backs in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Yovani Gallardo allowed just four hits over eight innings to lead the Brewers to a 4-1 win in front of a towel-waving, sellout crowd at Miller Park.

"He just hit his spots," D-backs right fielder Justin Upton said. "He was keeping the ball down. He had pretty good movement on his ball today. That's the way he came out. He was amped up, he was at home and he was locked in. He was hitting his spots and we just didn't get barrel to him."

Upton did get some barrel in the first inning as it seemed to take Gallardo a few batters to get his legs under him.

Gallardo allowed a leadoff single to Willie Bloomquist, who proceeded to steal second base, and one out later, Upton lined a single to left. Because Bloomquist had to freeze for a second on a ball in the air, he did not get a great jump on the ball, and Ryan Braun was able to throw him out at the plate.

It was the type of aggressive baserunning that had served the D-backs so well during the regular season, but it did not pay off Saturday.

"That's the way we play," third-base coach Matt Williams said. "It's a situation where Ryan made a nice throw, a nice two-hop throw to the plate. He stopped on the ball and used his arm strength to throw the ball to the plate. But hey, we're going to push it and we're going to keep pushing it."

The D-backs came up empty in the inning as Miguel Montero followed the Upton single with an inning-ending grounder.

"That run scores, it might be a whole different ballgame," Gallardo said. "After that, I was able to settle in."

Ian Kennedy was nearly as good as Gallardo until running into trouble in the fourth.

Braun led off the inning with a single and moved to third when Prince Fielder beat the defensive shift by dribbling a ball to the right of third baseman Ryan Roberts, who was playing over in the shortstop hole.

Kennedy hit Rickie Weeks with a pitch to load the bases, and Jerry Hairston Jr., who got the start at third in place of Casey McGehee, hit a sacrifice fly to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

In the sixth, after Kennedy retired the first two batters, Yuniesky Betancourt drove a pitch to deep left. The ball one-hopped the wall and its back spin caused it to bounce back off the wall a second time. That allowed Betancourt to get to third.

Manager Kirk Gibson then faced a decision. With two outs, he could have walked Jonathan Lucroy intentionally to get to Gallardo, who is a decent hitter for a pitcher.

Neither Gibson nor Kennedy considered issuing a walk a viable option.

Kennedy jumped ahead 1-2 before Lucroy fought off an up-and-in changeup and blooped it in front of Gerardo Parra in left to score Betancourt and give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

"He was lucky enough to get a changeup," Montero said. "I think if it would have been a fastball, it would have been something different. It was another bad pitch, but there were only a couple of bad pitches and that was the difference."

The other bad pitch also coincided with a decision by Gibson that he came to quickly regret.

After Kennedy retired the first two batters of the seventh, Braun smoked a double down the right-field line.

That brought Fielder to the plate, and Gibson went to the mound to talk to Kennedy, who was sitting at 109 pitches.

"It was a conversation," Kennedy said. "He just asked me what I thought and obviously I wanted to go after him and that's what Miggy thought. We thought about walking him, but I'm not going to do that."

Left-handed specialist Joe Paterson was warming in the bullpen along with right-hander Brad Ziegler. Instead of bringing in Paterson to face Fielder or walking Fielder to get to the right-handed Weeks, the D-backs went after Fielder.

The slugger made them pay when he lined an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for a 4-0 Milwaukee lead.

"I left him in; it was a bad decision on my part, obviously, and sometimes that's how the game goes," Gibson said. "But there's another game tomorrow. We'll be optimistic, we'll be upbeat, we'll come out here prepared like we do every game, and I'll try to do a better job myself."

Kennedy ended up charged with those four runs on eight hits and a walk plus two hit batters while striking out three over 6 2/3 innings in his postseason debut.

"I felt like I just hung that curveball," Kennedy said of the pitch to Fielder. "I feel if I make my pitch there, it's either a rollover or he swings and misses it."

The D-backs finally got on the board in the eighth when Roberts led off with a home run to center.

The D-backs, who bounced back from tough losses throughout the regular season, will try to even the best-of-five series Sunday before heading to Phoenix for Game 3. In NLDS history, the team that wins Game 1 has gone on to win the series 28 of 32 times.

"I think our mentality has to be must-win," D-backs outfielder Chris Young said. "You're going to come into the series and say if you can win one game here and get back home 1-1, it's still a good position to be in, so I think we have to come in with that mentality." Comments