It's one of the oldest clichés in the baseball book, but it remains true to this day.

If you're going to get to a great pitcher, you better do it early.

And when he's on his game, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw certainly qualifies as a great pitcher.

"When you have the opportunities - you're not going to have a lot unless he's off that day - you've got to get guys in," Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

The Brewers were unable to take advantage of a couple of early opportunities, and Kershaw settled in after that Sunday afternoon, pitching Los Angeles to a 2-0 victory at Dodger Stadium to allow Los Angeles to win the three-game series.

Kershaw was masterful, mowing down 18 consecutive hitters over one stretch. Over eight innings, he allowed four hits and no walks while striking out 12.

The hard-luck loser - once again - was Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse, who handled the Dodgers over seven strong innings with the exception of Carl Crawford. The leadoff hitter ambushed his first pitch of the game for a home run and added another on a hanging 0-2 slider in the fifth to account for all of the scoring.

Lohse fell to 1-2 despite posting a 2.53 ERA over his five starts. The Brewers have lost three of those five games but scored just one run in doing so.

"Both guys were phenomenal," Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun said. "Kyle threw the ball great for us. Clayton was as good as I've ever seen him. No doubt, he's one of the top pitchers in the game if not the top pitcher.

"When a guy like that is on top of his game, commanding all his pitches, you know you're in for a tough day. We didn't get many opportunities. The chances you do get, you have to take advantage. Once he settled in, he was really tough."

The Brewers had a chance to get to Kershaw in the first inning when Jean Segura and Braun singled with one down, but cleanup hitter Jonathan Lucroy grounded into a double play.