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Melancon steps up work vs. Brewers

Giants reliever pitches in back-to-back games for first time since May
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mark Melancon is making the most of his time on the mound while he's able to pitch.

Possibly headed for offseason surgery after a strained right pronator twice forced him onto the disabled list, Melancon contributed a scoreless eighth inning to the Giants' first home shutout victory of the season, a 2-0 decision Monday night over the Brewers.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Mark Melancon is making the most of his time on the mound while he's able to pitch.

Possibly headed for offseason surgery after a strained right pronator twice forced him onto the disabled list, Melancon contributed a scoreless eighth inning to the Giants' first home shutout victory of the season, a 2-0 decision Monday night over the Brewers.

View Full Game Coverage

Melancon thus appeared in back-to-back games for the first time since his second DL stint ended Aug. 12. Earlier this year, the right-hander made back-to-back appearances April 9-10, April 26-28 and May 19-20.

Melancon, who hasn't appeared in a save situation since June 20 at Atlanta, did the next best thing by working the eighth to set up closer Sam Dyson, who notched his 11th save in 12 chances for the Giants.

Melancon, whose previous three outings occurred in the seventh inning, replaced Hunter Strickland, who has become the eighth-inning specialist. Strickland allowed three runs and six hits in Sunday's eighth inning and absorbed the decision in the Giants' 5-2 loss to Philadelphia. That was Strickland's sixth appearance in nine games, prompting Giants manager Bruce Bochy to rest him and use Melancon for the eighth.

Bochy indicated that Melancon, who has made five scoreless one-inning appearances since his second liberation from the DL, proved he was ready to perform in the type of high-leverage situation that he has comfortably embraced as one of the Majors' top closers in recent years.

"We talked about it and he was ready to try it," Bochy said. "... He's got enough outings to where he was comfortable doing it."

In case Melancon had trouble getting loose or was injured while warming up, Giants coaches delayed telling Matt Cain, who pitched the seventh inning, that he could take refuge in the clubhouse.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Mark Melancon