MILWAUKEE -- Eduardo Nunez homered for the second straight game, and Aaron Hill said hello to his former team with a go-ahead double off the bench, sending Jeff Samardzija and the Giants to a rare road win, 7-2, over the Brewers on Monday at Miller Park.Samardzija faced a 2-0 deficit
MILWAUKEE -- Eduardo Nunez homered for the second straight game, and Aaron Hill said hello to his former team with a go-ahead double off the bench, sending Jeff Samardzija and the Giants to a rare road win, 7-2, over the Brewers on Monday at Miller Park.
Samardzija faced a 2-0 deficit after four batters but retired 19 in a row in the middle of his 7 2/3 quality innings for the Giants, who had lost six of their previous eight games on the road and entered the night with the Majors' third-worst road record. Samardzija was winless with a 6.15 ERA in 45 1/3 career innings at Miller Park before he scattered six hits and held Milwaukee to two runs (one earned), with no walks and 10 strikeouts.
"He just pitched a terrific game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good command, good velocity. Great changeup, cutter too. He had it all going on in a place he hasn't had much success."
In seven starts since the beginning of May, Samardzija has 59 strikeouts versus one walk.
"I'm a pretty excitable guy and I like to throw hard, but it takes some time to learn that you have to get your body in the right position to throw hard, with action and where you want it," Samardzija said. "I've just been staying back real well and haven't been drifting down off the rubber until it's time. That's been the big adjustment me and [pitching coach Dave Righetti] made; just letting everything happen on the rubber. After that, it's just executing the pitch."
Nunez lined a solo home run off Brewers starter Junior Guerra for a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning, and Hill pulled a pinch-hit double off Rob Scahill into the left-field corner with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth. The Brewers got the inning-ending out at home plate on the play, but not before two runs scored for a 4-2 Giants lead.
San Francisco tacked on three more runs in the ninth against Neftali Feliz, though only one was earned because of a Brett Phillips error in the outfielder's Major League debut. It was the Brewers' 17th relief loss this season, most in the Majors.
"Tonight was a night we didn't do a good enough job offensively, but we certainly have to get some guys getting some outs down there," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Rob was a pitch away from getting out of the inning, but that's a big spot, and a spot where you've got to make a pitch."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The one that got away: With the teams tied at 2-2 in the seventh, the Brewers finally got something going against Samardzija when Hernan Perez snapped a streak of 19 batters retired in a row with a double, then moved to third on Manny Pina's infield single. Samardzija preserved the tie by striking out Nick Franklin and Jonathan Villar to end the threat, giving him his ninth and 10th strikeouts. Villar is having a miserable follow-up to his breakthrough 2016 season, with 73 strikeouts in 56 games. The Giants rewarded Samardzija's escape by pushing ahead in the next half-inning.
"We've said that for a lot of our pitchers that have done very well and we just haven't put up the runs for them," Hill said. "It makes it even more satisfying when you give him a win and you feel like 'Alright. Here you go. Sorry it's taken so long. Hopefully, we can get you some more down the road.'"
Free advertising: The Brewers' marketing department earned its first RBI of the season on an odd play in the bottom of the first. With runners at second and third, Perez lifted a sacrifice fly to Giants left fielder Orlando Calixte, who airmailed a throw home that bounced up and over the advertising structure behind home plate and disappeared. Calixte was charged with an error, and by rule a second runner was awarded the plate for a 2-0 Brewers lead. Milwaukee has outscored opponents in the first inning this year, 55-17, while batting .328 (80-for-244) with 26 doubles, two triples, 11 homers and 30 walks.
"I was blocked out. I just didn't see exactly what happened," Bochy said. "Once it went behind there, it's a ground rule. Orlando didn't mean to throw the ball like that. He was trying to hit the cutoff man but it slipped out of his hand. That's a tough run to give up."
Said Perez: "First time I've seen that. It's crazy. It was good we got that second run. [Samardzija] was good tonight. He's a great pitcher."
"I hate him. I'm just kidding." -- Perez, joking about former teammate Hill's go-ahead hit
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
Phillips, No. 10 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects, earned a callup Monday after the Brewers placed third baseman Travis Shaw on the paternity list and had a busy night. He logged his first career outfield assist with a sensational throw in the third inning, his first career hit with a single off Samardzija in the eighth, then was slapped with his first career error in the ninth. Phillips waved off right fielder Domingo Santana on a Nunez fly ball but Santana got too close, and the ball ticked off Phillips' glove. The mistake aided a three-run Giants scoring rally against Feliz, growing a 4-2 Giants lead to 7-2. More >
Giants:Player Page for Matt Cain hopes to bounce back from three straight losses when he takes the mound Tuesday at 4:40 p.m. PT. The righty holds a 5.01 ERA in 102 2/3 innings in 13 career starts against the Brewers.
Brewers:Chase Anderson dealt 14 straight scoreless innings over his last two starts. He will look to build on that when he takes the mound against the Giants at 6:40 p.m. CT on Tuesday. He is 1-2 with a career 8.55 ERA in four starts against the Giants.
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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 and covered the Giants on Monday.