Brewers face Giants, looking for another road series win
SAN FRANCISCO — The Milwaukee Brewers will seek to win a second consecutive series on their nine-game tour of the National League West when they meet the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.
Just as they did last week at Colorado, the Brewers rebounded from a series-opening loss at San Francisco on Monday night with a tight 4-3 victory Tuesday to even the three-game series at one win apiece.
The Brewers got out of Denver with a second victory — and series win — Sunday, and they hope that veteran right-hander Matt Garza can deliver the same against the Giants.
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After a day off Thursday, the Brewers will complete their trip with a three-game series against the West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Garza (6-7, 4.81 ERA) opened the trip with a loss Friday at Colorado, allowing eight runs (seven earned) and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.
The Brewers (66-61) will begin the day 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs (67-57) in the NL Central and three games back of the Colorado Rockies (68-57) in the battle for the second NL wild card.
Normally known for their power, the Brewers relied on defense to square their series with the Giants on Tuesday.
Catcher Manny Pina threw out two Giants trying to steal second, including Kelby Tomlinson in the ninth inning, and right fielder Hernan Perez, a late-game defensive replacement, gunned down Nick Hundley trying to score on a single with two outs in the eighth.
“Good defense in this place is important,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who recorded his 200th career victory. “We played a good defensive game tonight, that’s for sure.”
The defense helped overcome the only home run of the night, a two-run shot by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford that gave San Francisco a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning.
The homer was the 11th of the season for Crawford.
“He’s been getting some big hits for us lately,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Crawford, the team leader in RBIs with 63. “I’m glad to see him getting back on track.”
San Francisco will counter in the series finale with left-hander Matt Moore (4-12, 5.54 ERA), who has never faced the Brewers.
The Giants are 3-3 on a seven-game homestand that ends Wednesday. The first of the three wins came in Moore’s start Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he allowed two runs and two hits in 7 1/3 innings in a 10-2 victory.
With the Giants going with a left-hander, the Brewers are expected to give hot-hitting Jesus Aguilar his first start of the series.
Aguilar, the hero of Milwaukee’s weekend sweep of the Colorado Rockies, is hitting .320 against lefties this season.
He has been used only as a pinch hitter in the San Francisco series, going 0-for-2 against Giants right-handers.