Lacking the timely hitting and consistent pitching present earlier in the week, the Giants (30-39) fell 5-3 to the Brewers (40-31) Sunday in the series and homestand finale, snapping a four-game winning streak.
After Jeff Samardzija (L, 3-6, 3.96 ERA) got two quick outs in the first, he never looked comfortable. He gave up a run in four of five innings pitched Sunday afternoon, and faced a heavy workload in every frame.
With two outs in the first he allowed a Ryan Braun single and followed with seven straight balls, walking Mike Moustakas and running a 3-0 count to Yasmani Grandal. After managing a pair of strikes to Grandal, he served up a fastball for an RBI single. It took him 27 pitches to get through the inning.
Samardzija said he felt like he battled out on the mound Sunday but was disappointed that his performance wasn’t as good as he would have liked. He said:
“[I was] just kind of a little erratic out there today and a little inconsistent.”
In the second, Samardzija was only lucky the Brewers didn’t do more damage. After allowing a leadoff single to Travis Shaw, Ben Gamel muscled a bloop single into left to add on another run and bring Christian Yelich to the plate. Yelich scalded a ball to right that looked like a no-doubt, RBI triple, but instead of ricocheting off the fencing, it slipped right through a gap in the gate for a ground-rule double, holding Gamel at third.
Bochy said he’d never seen anything like it happen at Oracle Park:
“I was a little concerned, but Kevin, with his experience, did the right thing [flagging umpires] instead of trying to dig it out. I’ve never seen that. I didn’t know what happened until the replay where you could see it went through the cushion.”
Samardzija struck Braun out to end the inning. It would be the first of three 24-pitch innings.
But the Giants also taxed Milwaukee righty Chase Anderson (W, 4-1, 4.05 ERA), drawing 58 pitches through the first three innings, and 30 in the second alone. Evan Longoria led off the second with a triple to right and a double to left from Kevin Pillar got the Giants on the board. Samardzija then helped is own cause, earning his second hit and first RBI of the season to tie it up, 2-2.
The Shark’s last RBI came exactly two-years to the day before Sunday’s contest with the Brewers.
Yelich was responsible for a third Milwaukee run on his second double of the afternoon after Samardzija walked Gamel in the fourth. The Brewers never relinquished the lead again and only added on from there.
Samardzija viewed this second one-two punch from Gamel and Yelich as a pivotal moment. He said:
“I was upset about the walks. I think that walk to Gamel just crushed me. That wasn’t necessarily the day-breaker but with the Yelich behind him and the way he’s been swinging, you gotta go at that guy right there and make him put it in play and go from there.”
The Shark entered the fifth inning having already thrown 99 pitches. He said he wasn’t out of gas, but with one out, Eric Thames sent pitch No. 106 over the right field wall (10) to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead.
The Giants tried to elbow their way back into the game in the fifth, when they loaded the bases with no outs and the heart of the order up after Anderson gave up a pair of singles and walked Joe Panik for the third time that afternoon.
But Matt Albers replaced Anderson, and San Francisco couldn’t muster more than one. Albers whiffed Buster Posey, and the Giants failed to get that big hit. A Brandon Belt sac fly brought them within two runs, making it 5-3, but that would be all.
Bochy said he was disappointed his club couldn’t take advantage with men on the basepaths Sunday:
“We had a lot of traffic out there, we just needed a hit there to break things open and that didn’t happen for us.”
Brewers closer Josh Hader (S, 17, 103, 2.02 ERA) shut the Giants down easily in the ninth to close it out for Milwaukee.
The Giants open a two-city, seven-game road trip in Los Angeles Monday. They play a four-game set with the Dodgers before moving on to Arizona for a three-game series against the Diamondbacks. Twenty-four-year-old rookie Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.06 ERA) faces Kenta Maeda (7-3, 3.89 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. Monday night at Chavez Ravine.
According to Bochy, reliever Nick Vincent is still two to three weeks out from a return after a strained right pectoralis landed him on the 10-day injured list May 29. Bochy said he has yet to even play catch at this point in his recovery. …Belt’s 18-game on-base streak came to an end Sunday afternoon. He went 0-for-3 with one RBI.