Homers help Bumgarner beat Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Hunter Pence, Matt Duffy and Brandon Belt homered to back Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who fought through a long sixth inning to preserve his fifth win in six starts, 6-3 over the Brewers on Tuesday at Miller Park.
Bumgarner did not allow a hit through three innings and carried a 5-1 lead into the sixth, when the Brewers worked Bumgarner for 32 pitches and knocked two runs off the deficit. But a defensive gem from shortstop Brandon Crawford ended Milwaukee's rally, and San Francisco's bullpen finished the victory.
"That long inning caught up with him," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Bumgarner's sixth. "He had really good stuff."
The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning but fell for the sixth time in seven games. The loss went to Brewers starter Matt Garza, who surrendered five runs on eight hits and three walks in only five innings. His ERA swelled to 6.00, and his seventh loss tied the Padres' Andrew Cashner for the Major League lead.
"My stuff's there," Garza said. "If it wasn't, I wouldn't be striking out guys out there. I have to figure out what's going on. Maybe it's sequence. Maybe I'm tipping. It's something. I'll get to the bottom of it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crawford, again: Rarely does a game go by without some sort of slick defensive play by Crawford. He made another one in the sixth inning, diving to his right to snare Hector Gomez's low line drive and rob him of an RBI single that would have trimmed San Francisco's lead to one run.
"That's Craw," Bochy said. "He's as good as there is at short."
On the board: The Brewers didn't have a hit off Bumgarner until Aramis Ramirez stepped to the plate with two outs in the fourth and lifted a first-pitch changeup to the left-field bleachers. It was the Brewers' 38th home run in their last 26 games since April 28, second in the Majors to the Astros over that span.
"We pushed the envelope," Ramirez said. "We put some guys on base. We just couldn't get the key hit."
Good glovework: Brewers infielders prevented the game from getting away from Garza. With two men in scoring position in the third inning, second baseman Gomez made a diving stop to rob Buster Posey of a run-scoring hit in a 2-0 game. After the Giants made it 5-0 in the fourth, first baseman Jason Rogers snared a Pence line drive bound for the right-field corner with two men aboard and two outs.
"I touched it. It touched my glove. I should have had it. The ball continued to go and go and go, so I continued to go with the ball. I'm supposed to go to the wall and wait over there [to determine] whether I have to go forward or back." -- Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, lamenting Duffy's two-run home run in the fourth inning that barely cleared the center-field wall
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ryan Braun remains the hottest National League hitter not named Bryce Harper. When Braun swung away in a 3-0 count against Bumgarner and delivered a run-scoring double in the sixth inning, it gave Braun an RBI in seven consecutive starts and 10 of his last 11 starts.
Giants: San Francisco takes a 9-5 record in day games into its 10:40 a.m. PT series finale Wednesday at Milwaukee. The Giants are averaging exactly four runs per game in matinees, which is exactly the number of runs they believe they need to scratch out each day to win.
Brewers: With Wily Peralta on the disabled list with a strained oblique, the Brewers will turn to right-hander Mike Fiers on three days' rest for Wednesday's series finale against the Giants. Fiers will have a full bullpen behind him should he struggle; the Brewers are currently working with nine relievers. Fiers' first pitch is at 12:40 p.m. CT.
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