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Brewers can't quite catch Giants, fall 3-2

WP: M. Baumgarner (8-2) LP: W. Smith (0-1) Save: S. Casilla (14) Homeruns: Mil, J.Lucroy (10); SF, none

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The return of the Brewers’ Matt Garza resulted in another win for San Francisco, 3-2. The Giants had at least two runners on base in every inning except the eighth, and left 13 on, while Madison Baumgarner worked eight for the Giants allowing 4 hits with a walk and a hit batter. He struck out 8. The Brewers left only one on base all night.

Garza allowed two baserunners in each of the first two innings, each time after two were out. The Giants failed to score in either inning.

In the third, the Brewers failed to retire Joe Panik twice. Panik dribbled one towards first that Garza should have fielded and would have beat Panik to first. With one down and runners at first and second Matt Duffy struck out on a 3-2 pitch with the runners going. Lucroy had Panik dead to rights at third but threw wide on the fair ball side, and Aaron Hill couldn’t handle it. Brandon Crawford singled to left to drive in Panik, and the Giants led 1-0.

Garza went four innings, throwing 87 pitches and allowing 8 hits. He struck out 5 and walked 1. He was both lucky to only give up the one run, and unlucky in that it could very easily been none. Two of the hits should have been outs, and a third (an infield hit by Baumgarner) was an eyelash away from being an out. Villar’s throw from short leftfield beat the slugging pitcher to first, but pulled Chris Carter off the bag - a ruling that was upheld on review. Not a great outing, but better than the pitcher he is replacing in the rotation.

Baumgarner dominated the Brewers through the first four innings, striking out two and allowing only a lead-off single to Jonathan Villar in the fourth. He was erased one out later on an easy 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Ryan Braun.

Jonathon Lucroy led off the fifth with a homerun to straight away left on the seventh pitch he saw, tying things up at one. Baumgarner retired the final three in order.

The Giants regained the lead in the bottom half of the fifth. Corey Knebel continued to struggle coming back from the disabled list, giving up Buster Posey’s third straight single and walks to Duffy and Crawford. Carlos Torres relieved and allowed only one run, with Posey scoring on a fielder’s choice by Angel Pagan. Torres finished the inning by striking out Baumgarner, the only time he was retired all night. The Giants had recorded 12 baserunners with nobody out in the 5th and only produced 2 runs. That’s Brewer-level inefficiency right there.

The Brewers tied things up again in the top of the sixth with a two out rally. Villar doubled with two down and Hernan Perez pulled a single down the leftfield line to score him. Perez was called out on a horrible call at second on a steal attempt, and with the Brewers out of challenges there was no review. It isn’t important to get calls right until the seventh inning.

San Francisco again took the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Will Smith battled his control throughout the inning, and his second consecutive wild pitch brought home Angel Pagan to give the Giants a 3-2 lead. After Baumgarner walked to put runners at first and third, Denard Span lined one to third. Perez dropped it, and the Brewers got an easy 5-4-3 double play.

Santiago Casilla finished off the win with a 1-2-3 ninth for the Giants, saving his 14th game of the year.

Tomorrow afternoon’s game has the Brewers (30-35) sending Jimmy Nelson (5-5, 3.43) out to face Johnny Cueto (9-1, 2.16) for the Giants (40-26). FSW will not broadcast the game.