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Santana, Villar bookend win over SF with HRs

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar homered, and Jesus Aguilar delivered a tiebreaking double in the fifth that sent the Brewers to a 6-3 win over the Giants on Wednesday at Miller Park.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson was sharp outside of a three-run Giants rally in the third, punctuated by Buster Posey's booming two-run home run. The right-hander worked through the end of the sixth for his third straight quality start, Milwaukee's sixth in the team's last eight games. The runs snapped Nelson's streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings spanning parts of three starts.

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MILWAUKEE -- Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar homered, and Jesus Aguilar delivered a tiebreaking double in the fifth that sent the Brewers to a 6-3 win over the Giants on Wednesday at Miller Park.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson was sharp outside of a three-run Giants rally in the third, punctuated by Buster Posey's booming two-run home run. The right-hander worked through the end of the sixth for his third straight quality start, Milwaukee's sixth in the team's last eight games. The runs snapped Nelson's streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings spanning parts of three starts.

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"Posey got him, obviously, but after that, he just competed really well and got through it," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who praised the Milwaukee offense. "What I liked was we kept the pressure on every single inning and kept adding on."

Santana's solo home run in the first inning snuck over the fence in right field for a 1-0 lead against Giants starter Ty Blach, but the Brewers had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win. Travis Shaw and Manny Pina drove in a run apiece in the fourth inning to tie the game, and Santana scampered home from first base on Aguilar's double into the right-field corner in the fifth to reclaim the lead. Aguilar is hitting .349 in 43 at-bats against southpaws.

Video: SF@MIL: Aguilar grounds an RBI double to right field

Blach took the loss after allowing five earned runs on nine hits over six innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. With their fourth loss in five games, the Giants fell a season-low 13 games below .500.

"Even at the end, I thought his stuff was the same as when he started. He maintained it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Blach. "They did throw some long at-bats against him and saw a lot of pitches."

Video: SF@MIL: Blach whiffs Broxton in the 6th

With a Cubs loss to the Marlins, the Brewers' third win in four games reclaimed sole possession of the top spot in the National League Central at 32-28.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Signs of life for Villar: Villar was one of the Brewers' most dynamic players last season, when he led the Majors with 62 stolen bases and posted an .826 OPS. But a miserable start this season (.595 OPS entering Wednesday) put the switch-hitter in dire need of a night like this, when he tripled as a right-handed batter in the third inning, made a nice sliding catch to rob Posey of a hit in the fifth, then homered from the left side of the plate leading off the seventh against Giants reliever George Kontos. It was Villar's first home run since May 14 against the Mets.

"I need it," Villar said. "I need to finish hard." More >

Video: SF@MIL: Villar crushes a solo homer to right

Way outta here: The Giants took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning via Brandon Belt's RBI double and Posey's monster home run off the base of the scoreboard in center field. It was his first home run of the season with a runner on base, and at 106.6 mph, according to Statcast™, it was Posey's hardest base hit of any kind in 2017. More >

"It just came down to one hanging slider to Posey," Nelson said. "They put together some good at-bats early in the game. I started mixing it up better after that. Manny [Pina, the Brewers catcher] did a good job, the defense did a good job. Villar made some big plays. Offensively, we did what we always do. Those guys did a good job of picking me up."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Brewers must be getting their sleep, because they remain baseball's fastest starters. With Santana's homer, the Brewers are outscoring opponents 56-17 in the first inning this season while batting .332 (83-for-250) with 26 doubles, two triples, 12 homers and 30 walks.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Giants won a critical challenge in the third inning when Eduardo Nunez was called out trying to steal second base. After that call was overturned, Belt delivered an RBI double that tied the game at 1-1, and Posey followed with his homer for the lead.

Video: SF@MIL: Nunez steals second base after a challenge

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Johnny Cueto gets the ball in the series finale at 11:10 a.m. PT on Thursday. Cueto holds a 1.68 ERA and is 8-0 in his past eight starts against the Crew. The Giants are 7-5 overall and 3-4 on the road in his starts this season.

Brewers: Paolo Espino will make his second Major League start at 1:10 p.m. CT on Thursday. He'll start in place of Matt Garza, who was placed on the 10-day DL with a chest contusion Wednesday. Espino received a no-decision in his rain-delayed big league debut at Wrigley Field on May 19, giving up two earned runs on five hits over four innings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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

Carson Mason is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Giants on Wednesday.