The new look Milwaukee Brewers snapped a two game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the San Francisco Giants Friday night at AT&T Park. It was a match up of the 2009 AL and NL Cy Young award winners pairing Zach Greinke against Tim Lincecum, although neither received a decision. Greinke worked 5 and a third allowing four runs, three earned, seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Lincecum allowed three runs (all earned) despite only two hits but walked four along with four K’s.
Without the services of Mat Gamel (torn ACL, out for the season) and Ryan Braun (right Achilles strain, day to day) and suffering consecutive shut outs against the Padres, a major shake up to batting order was necessary. Manager Ron Roenicke put Carlos Gomez in the lead off spot, moving Rickie Weeks to second, Hart to third and Jonathan Lucroy to sixth in the lineup.
Lincecum was freakishly wild for the Giants in the opening frame, plunking Gomez, and then walking Weeks. After a fielder’s choice from Corey Hart that erased Weeks at second, Aramis Ramirez drew a walk to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Gomez to score from third, with Ramirez and Hart moving to second and third. A two RBI single from Jonathan Lucroy gave Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. After being shut out in the last two games in San Diego, Milwaukee was able to capitalize early on Lincecum’s mistakes.
Greinke limited the Giants to one hit until the fifth inning when Angel Pagan led off with a single. Brandon Belt followed with a single of his own, moving Pagan to third. Joaquin Arias then singled home Pagan cutting Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1.
Lucroy belted a one out triple over the head of centerfielder Pagan in the sixth. He then scored on a suicide squeeze by Travis Ishikawa pushing the advantage back to three at 4-1.
The Giants came right back in the bottom half of the sixth off Greinke. Conor Gillaspie singled and then scored on Melky Cabrera’s deep triple over Corey Hart in right. Buster Posey’s RBI single trimmed the advantage to 4-3. Posey moved to second on a controversial ground out by Pagan. The replay appeared to show Pagan’s foot reaching the first base before Ishikawa squeezed the throw from Aramis Ramirez. Posey moved to third on a passed ball and then scored on an error by Rickie Weeks, allowing Brandon Belt to reach. With the game tied at 4-4, Roenicke then made the move for Kameron Loe, who induced a ground out from Joaquin Arias to record the second out. The Giants received the benefit of the doubt on another close play at first on an infield single from Emmanuel Burriss with Belt moving to third. Loe stranded the pair of runners when pinch hitter Ryan Theriot ground out to third.
Reliever Clay Hensley toed the rubber for the Giants in the seventh. Brooks Conrad made his season debut for the Brewers, grounding out to first. Norichika Aoki and Weeks hit back-to-back singles, forcing San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy to bring on Sergio Romo to face Hart. Romo got Hart to fly out to center with both runners advancing 90 feet. Ramirez raked a single to left, scoring Aoki and Weeks, giving the Crew a 6-4 lead.
John Axford worked a 1-2-3 ninth with two K’s to collect his sixth save of the season and 49th consecutive conversion for the Brewers. Loe (2-0) earned the win for Milwaukee with Hensley (1-3) taking the loss.
Notes: Gomez left the game after the Brewers’ half of the fourth with an apparent shoulder injury. Jose Veras came on to the work the seventh and struck out the side. Jonathan Lucroy went 2-4, with two RBI’s and a run scored.