Brewers 3, Giants 1

Matt Cain has lacked run support for so long now, over many

years, he is hardly about to start pointing fingers at San

Francisco’s offensive production at this stage.

He pitched great again Tuesday night, with nothing to show for

it but another loss to his name in the Giants’ 3-1 defeat against

the Milwaukee Brewers.

”It’s tough when we’re making some good pitches out there and

we’re going about it,” Cain said. ”We’re not worried about the

offensive guys, they’re going to do their thing. We’ve just got to

keep going out there and throwing the ball well.”

Cain was handed his first loss since the All-Star break. The

right-hander had been 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the second half, and

certainly would have left with a win in this one if the Giants had

made good on even one of their missed opportunities.

Brandon Crawford doubled to start the eighth but the Giants

failed to bring him home for what would have been the tying

run.

Manager Bruce Bochy is frustrated. They all are.

”We’ve been in position to win so many of these games. We’ve

got to have somebody come through for us and that was missing

again,” Bochy said. ”It’s running rampant right now throughout

the lineup. It’s hit us as a club as a whole and it’s been here for

a while.”

Carlos Gomez homered and Wily Peralta outdueled Cain to end a

three-start winless stretch for the Brewers.

Gomez hit his 18th homer in the second as the Brewers jumped on

Cain (7-7) early. Jonathan Lucroy added a ninth-inning sacrifice

fly.

Peralta (8-11) struck out six of nine batters during an early

sequence and finished with six Ks in 6 1-3 innings for his first

career victory against the Giants.

”I needed an outing like that. I was struggling the last two,”

Peralta said. ”I’ve been more comfortable because I’ve been

working in the bullpen and I’ve been throwing (off-speed pitches)

for a strike when I need to.”

Cain allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out

six and didn’t walk a batter for the fifth time this year – but it

wasn’t enough with little help from a stagnant offense.

The struggling defending World Series champions are 2 for 22

(.090) with runners in scoring position in the first two games of

the series. Pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias drove in a run on a

groundout in the seventh as San Francisco avoided being shut

out.

”It’s hard to explain when you go through something like

this,” Bochy said. ”Watching tonight, we had trouble catching up

with the fastball. It’s been a recent trend. The bats look a little

slow.”

Arias’ fielding error in the ninth led to Milwaukee scoring an

unearned run on Lucroy’s sac fly. The Giants had gone four games

without an error, but still have 80 for the second-most in the NL

behind the Brewers.

In the fourth, Norichika Aoki doubled leading off the inning and

advanced on Jean Segura’s groundout. With Aoki well off third,

catcher Buster Posey threw to try to get him.

But the throw sailed wildly into shallow left field past third

baseman Pablo Sandoval, who wasn’t close despite lunging to his

left and Aoki scored.

Peralta had lost his previous two starts and was winless in

three outings since back-to-back victories July 9 and 14. Peralta

singled to start the sixth for his seventh career hit and sixth

this year.

He received a no-decision in his only other matchup with San

Francisco, a 10-8 Brewers win April 16 at Miller Park.

Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 19

chances.

Posey, last season’s NL MVP and batting champion, was hit by a

pitch from Peralta above his left elbow with two out in the sixth,

and Posey grimaced in pain as he slowly walked to first.

”It’s frustrating. All of us take a lot of pride to be in those

situations and come through,” Posey said.

Bochy is considering trying Hunter Pence in the leadoff spot –

perhaps now as soon as Wednesday night. While he had previously

planned to rest Marco Scutaro in Thursday afternoon’s finale,

Scutaro will now get a break Wednesday after he went hitless in

four at-bats Tuesday and is 0 for 9 overall in the leadoff spot the

past two games.

”He needs a break,” Bochy said.

Right-hander Marco Estrada returns to the mound for the Brewers

on Wednesday night for his first start since June 3 after spending

time on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain.

NOTES: Bochy said CF Angel Pagan is progressing well in Arizona

from left hamstring surgery and could return to the Giants as soon

as Sept. 1. … San Francisco assistant GM Bobby Evans said the

club is yet to sign LHP Ted Lilly to a minor league deal. He was

designated for assignment July 25 by the Dodgers. ”Upon reviewing

Ted Lilly’s medical history we’re going to hold off on pursuing a

minor league contract right now,” Evans said. … Giants LHP Barry

Zito received the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award given annually by the

Phi Delta Theta International fraternity to an MLB player. Zito

started Strikeouts for Troops nine years ago to help returning

veterans and their families with medical and other bills. ”It’s a

huge honor,” Zito said. ”Lou Gehrig’s name obviously is one that

brings to mind a special feeling for most people.”