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Untimely walks come back to bite Brewers

Milwaukee hits 3 homers in loss, takes 3 of 4 from Giants
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

SAN FRANCISCO -- After winning three straight games at a venue that has given them so much trouble over the years, then taking a quick lead in Sunday's series finale, you couldn't blame Ryan Braun and the Brewers for getting greedy.

"When we went up in the first inning," said Braun, whose two-run home run provided that early edge, "certainly you're thinking about making it a sweep."

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SAN FRANCISCO -- After winning three straight games at a venue that has given them so much trouble over the years, then taking a quick lead in Sunday's series finale, you couldn't blame Ryan Braun and the Brewers for getting greedy.

"When we went up in the first inning," said Braun, whose two-run home run provided that early edge, "certainly you're thinking about making it a sweep."

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Instead, Junior Guerra lost the strike zone and it burned him, Matt Albers yielded three runs in his first game off the disabled list, and the Brewers, despite getting two more Christian Yelich hits and home runs from Braun, Hernan Perez and Travis Shaw in Sunday's 8-5 loss to the Giants, saw their sweep slip away at AT&T Park.

Next up, another tough four-game road series against the Dodgers that will carry the Brewers past the nonwaiver Trade Deadline.

Video: MIL@SF: Williams strands the bases full in the 7th

"We're well aware of where we're at in our schedule and how challenging it's been -- we were going through a bit of a rut," Braun said. "So it's good to come out and get [the road trip] off to a good start. We've got our hands full in L.A. -- it's a really good team."

Asked about Tuesday's 3 p.m. CT Deadline, Braun said, "Of course it's on our radar. We know they're doing everything in their power to put together the best team possible. I'm sure they're trying, but obviously it has to make sense."

Video: MIL@SF: Perez clobbers a solo homer to center field

A starting pitcher was on GM David Stearns' wish list before Guerra took the mound Sunday and faced the minimum before walking eight-hole hitter Gorkys Hernandez in the third to begin his downfall.

Guerra then walked opposing pitcher Andrew Suarez on four pitches and Andrew McCutchen on five before Buster Posey ripped a double to the left-center-field gap for a 3-2 Giants lead in what became a four-run inning.

"I felt good out there. I felt like I could go all nine, easily," Guerra said. "Those walks that inning, everything turned around. I couldn't get ahead of guys, I couldn't throw the first pitch for strikes and the third inning just went upside down."

How did he explain it?

"You can't really explain it," Guerra said. "It just happens out of nowhere, and so quick."

Video: MIL@SF: Shaw cranks a solo blast to right in the 7th

The Giants extended their lead to 5-2 against Guerra and then 8-3 against Albers. Despite the loss, the Brewers headed off for L.A. after winning a series in San Francisco for the first time since 2010.

"In advance [of the series], three out of four on the road is good, for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We got out to an early lead today, and the Junior inning was just a weird inning. But they capitalized on it. We get a double play in that situation and it's a different game. But they capitalized on his wildness there in the third inning, and that's what a guy like Buster Posey does to you."

The Brewers will face more hitters the likes of Posey ahead. Manny Machado will be making his Dodger Stadium debut on Monday night, and after four games there the Brewers return home to host National League MVP contender Nolan Arenado and the Rockies.

"We know this is an important stretch for us," Braun said. "It's important we play good baseball, because if we don't, we're not going to beat good teams."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sandoval for the win: It was 5-3 Giants entering the bottom of the fifth, when Albers returned from a shoulder injury to make his first Major League appearance since June 11. A single and a one-out walk preceded Pablo Sandoval's two-run triple after he fouled off a trio of two-strike pitches and worked a count that began 0-2 to 3-2. Sandoval then scored on another sacrifice fly before leaving the game with a right hamstring strain.

The three-run rally wound up deciding the game.

"Overall, I take the positives out of that," Albers said. "I got hot quick, felt good coming out. The execution just wasn't quite there. They put together a couple good at-bats right there."

Twin-killing: The Brewers' best chance to answer Posey's clutch hit came in the fourth inning after singles by Mike Moustakas and Perez against Suarez in a 4-2 game. Manny Pina was next and hit a hard grounder right to third baseman Evan Longoria, who stepped on the bag and threw across the diamond for an inning-ending double play.

Video: MIL@SF: Longoria turns double play to end the frame

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
All-Star first baseman Jesus Aguilar has six hits in his last 47 at-bats (.128) after an 0-for-4 on Sunday that included a highlight play in the seventh. With Yelich at first after his second infield hit of the afternoon, Sandoval's replacement Austin Slater reached over the rail of the Brewers' dugout to catch Aguilar's foul popup, then threw to pitcher Sam Dyson in an effort to double-up Yelich. The initial call was safe, but the Giants challenged and it was overturned for an inning-ending double play.

Video: MIL@SF: Slater makes nice grab, doubles up Yelich

Counsell said Aguilar is due for a day off during the Dodgers series.

"He didn't have many hits the last couple days, but we're setting the bar pretty high here," Counsell said. "I think this is a baseball season. This is what you get."

UP NEXT
After dropping two of three games to the Dodgers last week in Machado's first games in blue, the Brewers get a four-game rematch beginning Monday night in Machado's Dodger Stadium debut. Rookie right-hander Freddy Peralta (4-2, 3.74 ERA) is scheduled to start the 9:10 p.m. CT series opener for the Brewers opposite L.A.'s Kenta Maeda (7-5, 3.27).

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers