MILWAUKEE -- For most pitchers, allowing one run over eight innings would be an incredibly good performance.
Clayton Kershaw, however, is not most pitchers.
The Dodgers' ace left-hander, by his own account, struggled but still was good enough to earn his 11th consecutive victory as Los Angeles avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
"It felt like he was working hard, but he kept battling and giving us chances," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It was a good one for us to bounce back, and hopefully it gets us going in the right direction again."
Kershaw (14-2) gave up six hits and two walks to the Brewers, who took an early lead on a first-inning RBI single by right fielder Ryan Braun but made three big outs on the basepaths.
Los Angeles tied the game at 1-1 in the third, when Kershaw was hit by a pitch from Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson (2-3) and then scored on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's sacrifice fly.
Nelson led off the second with a double to the right field corner but was caught off second base when center fielder Carlos Gomez chopped a grounder right at shortstop Miguel Rojas.
Gomez was then caught between first and second when Kershaw fooled him with a pickoff move before catcher Jonathan Lucroy ended the inning with a fly ball to right.
Braun led off the fourth with a single, then took second on a wild pitch. He then threw another one past catcher A.J. Ellis, sending Braun to third.
Mattingly challenged the play and after a nearly two-minute review, Braun was called out, and Kershaw retired the next two in order.
"It's a good play," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Braun's decision to try to advance. "The slide, the way (Braun) kind of turned, he kind of turned himself into an easier tag, but that's a heads-up play. He got a good jump, and Ellis recovered well and made a good throw."
After right fielder Matt Kemp's single gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the fifth, the Brewers had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Rickie Weeks led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout by first baseman Mark Reynolds.
Shortstop Jean Segura fouled off one squeeze attempt, then popped one up to a diving Kershaw, who fired to third with plenty of time to double up Weeks.
"We had three times with a runner on second base and no outs," Roenicke said. "Next thing you look up and you've got nobody out there. We missed the squeeze, which would've changed the ballgame and changed the way I pitch guys late in that game.
"It was a good game, it just got away from us a little bit there at the end."
Nelson, a rookie right-hander, gave up eight hits and walked a batter but only allowed two runs and struck out three over six innings.
"His command got a little all over the place, but he didn't give up much," Roenicke said. "I know he wants to improve on things, and if he can improve off only giving up a couple runs, I think that's pretty good."
Gonzalez had another good game against the Brewers, doubling twice to finish the series 7-for-10 with three runs and five RBIs.
He scored the go-ahead run in the fifth, then added an insurance run with an RBI double in the seventh to score left fielder Carl Crawford.
Los Angles tacked on two more in the eighth on a solo home run by Ellis and an RBI single by Kershaw, who reached three times on the day.
"It's fun to feel like a baseball player every once in a while," Kershaw said. "We get labeled as 'pitchers only' sometimes, so it's fun to get some dirt on your jersey every once in a while."
The Brewers and Dodgers meet again next weekend in Los Angeles.
NOTES: Los Angeles placed SS Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right oblique and recalled INF Darwin Barney from Triple-A Albuquerque. ... LHP Kevin Correia, acquired late Saturday night from the Minnesota Twins, will work mainly out of the Dodgers' bullpen but could make a spot start as early as Monday. Manager Don Mattingly said he might give his starters a day of rest during a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said injured RHP Matt Garza has not resumed throwing and likely will need more than 15 days on the disabled list. Garza landed on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 4 because of a strained left oblique.