MILWAUKEE — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly criticized his team and benched All-Star right fielder Andre Ethier, then watched Los Angeles beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-2 Wednesday.
Mattingly, in the third and final year of his contract, discussed his club’s lack of mental toughness and said he wanted a balanced team that has grit and fight. He benched Ethier for the third time in six games and said he was “putting out my lineup that I feel is going to be the most competitive and going to compete the hardest.”
Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke drove in two runs each and Ramon Hernandez hit his first home run with the Dodgers.
Rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2), given a 7-0 lead, allowed two runs and six hits in a season-high 7 1-3 innings. Ryu has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his 10 appearances.
Los Angeles is last in the NL West at 19-26.
Milwaukee starter Willy Peralta (3-5) gave up six runs — four earned —and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings.
Matt Kemp hit a run-scoring single in the first, and Los Angeles sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run second.
Crawford’s two-run double made it 3-0, shortstop Jean Segura’s fielding error on Adrian Gonzalez’s grounder allowed a run to score and Peralta issued consecutive bases-loaded walks to Scott Van Slyke and Nick Punto, his final two batters.
Ramon Hernandez, making just his sixth start of the season, homered off Alfredo Figaro leading off the third for his first home run since Sept. 2 for Colorado.
Braves 8, Twins
ATLANTA — Evan Gattis kept up an amazing rookie season with his first grand slam, B.J. Upton and Ramiro Pena also homered, and the Atlanta Braves finished off a sweep of the woeful Minnesota Twins with a 8-3 rout on Wednesday.
The Braves stretched their winning streak to six games with their second straight series sweep, making things easy for starter Paul Maholm (6-4). The left-hander held the Twins to an unearned run in 7 1-3 innings.
With the Braves already leading 4-0, Gattis struck again less than 24 hours after his two-out, pinch-homer in the ninth allowed the Braves to pull out a 5-4 win over the Twins in extra innings.
Reds 7, Mets 4
NEW YORK — Brandon Phillips bounced a bizarre double over first base to snap a ninth-inning tie, and the Cincinnati Reds completed a three-game sweep of the struggling New York Mets with a 7-4 victory Wednesday.
Joey Votto homered and Zack Cozart had a career-high four hits, all off Matt Harvey, in a game that featured a little bit of everything — including a testy exchange in the dugout between Cincinnati starter Mat Latos and teammate Jay Bruce.
Still, the Reds regrouped and won for the 10th time in 12 games. They finished a 7-2 trip against the bottom three teams in the NL East, moving a season-best 11 games over .500 at 29-18.
Texas 3, Oakland 1
ARLINGTON, Texas — David Murphy and Adrian Beltre homered in a three-run first inning, Ross Wolf was strong in his first major league start and the Texas Rangers avoided a sweep with a 3-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Wolf was making his first big league appearance since Oct. 1, 2010, as a reliever with Oakland. He retired the first nine hitters and gave up one run with three strikeouts and two walks in five innings.
Neal Cotts preserved Wolf’s lead by striking out the side with no outs and two runners on in the sixth. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for this 14th save.
Jarrod Parker (2-6) was down 3-0 just four batters into the game, but went seven innings.MORE IN Wire Sports
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