SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy just wanted Matt Cain to get his work in and get command of his fastball in his spring debut.
Cain did just that, pitching two scoreless innings, as the Giants took a three-run lead into the sixth inning before the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 7-3 win Monday night.
“He used his pitches and did a good job,” Bochy said of Cain. “Well, the first five innings we played very good. Did some good things. Pitched well and played good ball.”
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Pinch-hitter Zelous Wheeler hit a two run homer in the sixth as Milwaukee scored three unearned runs off Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt to tie the score. In the seventh, late-game replacement Justin Christian mishandled Travis Ishikawa’s deep fly ball with two runners on and two outs, allowing the go-ahead runs to score.
“The sixth inning, the game turned around there,” Bochy said. “We did play some ugly baseball, both on the pitching side and defense. And with the bats, we didn’t get very good swings off.”
The Brewers scored a total of seven unanswered runs against Giants relievers. One run drew some laughs as substitute shortstop Jeff Bianchi ran all the way from first base, rounded third and stumbled and fell before reaching home plate after Christian dropped Ishikawa’s long fly. Bianchi got up and crossed home plate.
Giants setup reliever Sergio Romo struck out three in the seventh. Aubrey Huff homered and Gregor Blanco stole two bases and scored twice for San Francisco.
Ishikawa added a solo homer in the ninth and Chris Narveson pitched two scoreless innings for the Brewers.
“What I did work on was my cutter. I threw it three or four times (Monday) and it felt pretty good,” Narveson said. “It’s been coming along. It’s definitely one of those things that’s a comfort pitch, so the more you throw it, the better it feels. But you’re also trying to refine all aspects of your repertoire, too.”
The teams combined for four errors but both also got a highlight catch from an outfielder. Giants left fielder Brandon Belt had a sliding catch in the top of the second inning and Brewers center fielder Logan Schafer got one scaling the wall in left-center field to end the sixth inning.
NOTES: Giants C Buster Posey `s next step on the way to returning from a surgically-repaired ankle is running the bases. “That’s going to be a confidence factor (for Posey),” Bochy said. … Brewers OF Corey Hart is scheduled for surgery Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz., to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to be out four weeks.