LOS ANGELES -- Keon Broxton's only hit Thursday never left the infield, and he struck out in two other trips to the plate. Worse, the center fielder committed costly errors by bobbling consecutive Dodgers' singles in the sixth, aiding a tying, three-run rally that culminated with more frustration courtesy of instant replay.
And yet, Broxton wore the widest smile in the visitors' clubhouse at Dodger Stadium.
That's because Jonathan Villar's two-run home run in the top of the ninth -- not to mention Jeremy Jeffress' escape in the bottom of the inning -- had given the Brewers an 8-6 win over the Dodgers, leaving Broxton off the hook for his mistakes in the field and easing the Brewers' frustration about the close call that went against them on a play that tied the game.
"I owe [Villar] my life, that's how I feel right now," said Broxton. "I gave him a big hug. Six or seven hugs."
The Brewers led, 6-3, when Broxton committed his first error on Howie Kendrick's RBI single, a mistake Broxton attributed to a quick glance toward left fielder Ryan Braun as the two converged on the baseball. With Kendrick at second base after a pitching change to Brewers reliever Will Smith, Joc Pederson's single also clanked off Broxton's glove because he rushed, believing he might have a play on Kendrick at the plate.
"That's never, ever, happened on back-to-back plays like that," Broxton said. "You can't have that happen, mental errors like that. It's just unacceptable."
Smith added to the trouble with a wild pitch and a walk that gave the Dodgers runners at the corners with one out for pinch-hitter Justin Turner, who produced the game's most interesting play.
Turner lifted a sacrifice fly to Braun, who alertly made a quick throw to second base as Pederson tagged from third. Not so alertly, Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal had tagged from first base and headed toward second baseman Scooter Gennett, who recognized an opportunity and charged to tag out Grandal in the baseline.
That tag occurred just as Pederson stepped on home plate, so all eyes shifted to plate umpire Ryan Blakney. If the tag came first, the Brewers had a 6-5 lead. If Pederson reached home first, the game was tied.
Blakney indicated the run counted. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged, but the call stood.
"Those plays are out of your hands as the manager," Counsell said. "Somebody is making the call 3,000 miles away, and I don't know what they're looking at. My assumption is they didn't have clear video of the tag being made. That's the only thing I thought we might be in trouble with."
Three innings later, Villar bailed the Brewers out. His two-run home run reclaimed Milwaukee's lead and produced the smile still crossing Broxton's face 30 minutes later.
"It's definitely a relief," Broxton said.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.