With the Brewers looking to break out of a long slump, they faced the Giants again today, hoping for a win. It started out as a pitcher’s duel, but turned into an offensive battle, and Ben Gamel ended up as the late hero.
In the first inning, it looked like to could be another long night. Brandon Belt led off by reaching on a missed catch by Zach Davies. Buster Posey followed with a single, and the bases were loaded with one out after Evan Longoria walked. Davies held them to one run though, as Mike Yastrzemski hit a sacrifice fly to make it a 1-0 lead. The Brewers attempted a response in their half of the first. Lorenzo Cain led off with a single, and Ryan Braun doubled to put runners at second and third. After Mike Moustakas popped out, Madison Bumgarner threw a pitch in the dirt to Jesus Aguilar. Posey blocked it, then threw to third, where he caught Lorenzo Cain off of third base, ending the inning.
The second went by mostly quietly. Zach Davies sent the Giants down in order, and the Brewers got a single and a steal from Keston Hiura, but that was it in the second. The third was similar, with the Giants going down in order again. Lorenzo Cain got to third with a double and then advanced on a groundout from Christian Yelich, but couldn’t score after Braun struck out.
In the fourth inning, Evan Longoria led off with a single, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then, with two outs, Manny Pina matched Posey’s play from the first inning, catching Longoria trying to steal third to end the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the inning, Mike Moustakas singled to start the inning, but Aguilar and Hiura struck out for the first two outs of the inning. Pina then doubled to center, and Moustakas attempted to score. However, a good throw from Kevin Pillar and Brandon Crawford, along with a good catch and tag from Posey, got Moustakas at the plate.
In the fifth, Zach Davies continued to pitch well, working around a walk for another scoreless inning. Then, Davies took matters into his own hands on offense. He doubled with one out to get into scoring position. It looked like it would be another scoreless inning after Cain flew out and Yelich hit a ball right to second baseman Joe Panik, but Panik couldn’t field the ball cleanly, allowing Yelich to reach base. In addition, Panik wasn’t paying attention and Davies kept running, scored from second and tied the game at 1-1. It could have turned into a bigger inning as Braun followed with a walk and then Yelich and Braun executed a double steal, but Moustakas grounded out to end the inning.
Davies came back out for the sixth, and had another 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. That was it for Davies’ day, and despite the first inning run, it was a good day for him. He pitched six innings, allowing just an unearned run and two hits, along with two walks and five strikeouts. On the other side, Madison Bumgarner didn’t have as strong of a day. He only pitched five innings, allowed an unearned run and seven hits, along with a walk and six strikeouts.
After a scoreless sixth for the Brewers, Junior Guerra came in for the seventh inning. He struck out Yastrzemski and Pillar to start the inning, but Crawford singled with two outs. A double switch followed that brought in Alex Claudio and Orlando Arcia. Claudio then allowed a single to pinch-hitter Donovan Solano and a double to Slater, which scored Crawford and gave the Giants a 2-1 lead.
The Brewers attempted another rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. One out singles by Cain and Yelich put runners at first and third base. Braun came up after that, and ended up grounding into a double play, ending the inning and keeping the game at 2-1. Freddy Peralta took the eighth, struck out Posey to start the inning but walked Sandoval and Longoria after that. After a quick mound visit, Peralta didn’t throw another ball, striking out Yastrzemski and Pillar to end the inning.
Sam Dyson was brought in by the Giants for the eighth inning. The Brewers offense finally broke through here. Moustakas led off with a double, then Aguilar followed with another double, tying the game at 2-2. Keston Hiura followed with a third straight double, giving the Brewers a 3-2 lead. Eric Thames came in as a pinch hitter and singled for the fourth straight hit, putting runners at first and third. The Giants brought in Derek Holland, and pinch hitter Yasmani Grandal drew a walk to load the bases. Arcia then hit a ball to right field, not too deep, and Hiura attempted to score. The ball beat Hiura to the plate, but Hiura slid around the tag and to the back corner of the plate, scoring and giving the Brewers an insurance run.
Jeremy Jeffress was brought in for the ninth to finish off the game. Crawford walked, and Solano struck out to start the inning. Slater singled to put two runners on base. Stephen Vogt came up as a pinch hitter, and he singled to center. Crawford scored easily, but Cain didn’t field the ball well, which also allowed Slater to score. That tied the game at 4-4, and brought feelings of dread as it looked like it could be another game lost late.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Giants brought in Reyes Moronto. Ryan Braun led off with a ball hit right to Brandon Crawford, but he couldn’t field it cleanly and Braun reached base. That was followed up with strikeouts by Moustakas and Aguilar for the first two outs of the inning. Hiura walked to put runners at first and second, and Ben Gamel came up as a pinch hitter. On the fifth pitch, Gamel hit a double down the left field line, which scored Braun easliy and gave the Brewers a 5-4 win.
The Brewers will try to start off the second half of the season with a series win tomorrow afternoon. Jhoulys Chacin will face Tyler Beede in the series finale. First pitch is at 1:10 pm.