Clutch two-out hits rally Brewers past Giants
MILWAUKEE — At first glance, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson had a relatively pedestrian start against the San Francisco Giants. After all, he struck out a combined 21 hitters without a walk over his previous two games.
What might make his six-inning outing against San Francisco more impressive is that he won without having lights-out stuff.
Nelson (4-3) struck out six and allowed seven hits along with his first walk since May 23 in Milwaukee’s 6-3 victory Wednesday night over the Giants. He was sharp enough — outside of a three-run third inning — to earn his second win in three starts.
“He did a nice job, had to battle through a little bit more,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Jesus Aguilar went 2 for 4 and drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out double in the fifth to help the Brewers pull away. He turned quickly on a 1-2 fastball away from Ty Blach (4-3) for a two-out double to right field that scored Domingo Santana from first to snap a 3-all tie.
Milwaukee added another run in the sixth off Blach. Relief pitcher George Kontos didn’t help, allowing a solo homer to Jonathan Villar in the seventh that gave the Brewers a three-run lead.
“Those tack-on runs hurt us there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Brewers’ hitters adjusted at the plate against Blach, who allowed nine hits and five runs over six innings to end his four-game winning streak.
“After the first time through we saw that (Blach) was throwing a lot of off-speed and a lot of changeups, and so we were just trying to make adjustments to go up the middle and the other way,” Aguilar said.
Claimed off waivers from Cleveland in the offseason, Aguilar is hitting .328 over his last 23 games. He has filled in well as the third-place hitter for injured outfielder Ryan Braun.
Corey Knebel pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save and second in two games.
BIG SHOT BUSTER
Buster Posey homered for the Giants. The All-Star catcher hit a two-run shot to straightaway center with one out in the third, his eighth of the year but his first multi-run homer after seven solo shots.
Blach, making his ninth start in place of injured ace Madison Bumgarner, lost for the first time since May 6. The left-hander also had a scary moment in the fourth when he was brushed back at the plate while trying to bunt after a pitch got away from Nelson.
“Obviously, that’s going to happen every now and again, one rides on you. But you’ve got to get back in there and get down the next one,” Blach said.
STREAKS AND STATS
Posey extended his hitting streak to nine games. … Eduardo Nunez stretched his streak of reaching base safely by a hit or walk to 22 games. … Santana went deep in the first, his 11th homer this season and sixth since May 24.
For sale: A jersey that Giants reliever Hunter Strickland wore during a game against the Washington Nationals on Memorial Day, when a 98 mph fastball from the right-hander hit Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper to spark a bench-clearing brawl. The jersey sold for $200 on an MLB.com auction site.
Giants: Newly acquired reliever Sam Dyson will join the team in San Francisco this weekend after the Brewers series, though Bochy did not know exactly when the right-hander would be activated. Asked if Dyson would need a physical, Bochy said: “I’m sure. Any time there’s a trade, there’s a physical involved. I can’t tell you whether it happened or not.” The Giants acquired Dyson from the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza went on the 10-day disabled list before the game because of a bruised chest. The move is retroactive to Sunday. Garza got hurt after colliding with Aguilar on a play at first base Saturday against the Dodgers. Counsell said he thought Garza would just miss one start.
Giants RHP Johnny Cueto (5-5) will try to extend his eight-game winning streak against the Brewers in the series finale Thursday. The streak began on Sept. 25, 2012, while Cueto was with the Cincinnati Reds. Milwaukee is expected to bring up RHP Paolo Espino from Triple-A to take Garza’s place in the rotation. The rookie has made one career start, when he allowed five hits and three runs over four innings in a no-decision against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 19.