The Giants’ momentum and homestand ended together.
A season-best four-game win streak has disappeared, as has the Giants’ resurrected starting pitching, as Jeff Samardzija was knocked around in a 5-3 loss to the Brewers on Sunday afternoon in front of a Father’s Day crowd of 34,603 at Oracle Park.
The Giants finished their homestand 5-3 but whiffed on a chance for a second consecutive sweep thanks to a poor start and a potential rally that fell flat. They now will face the Dodgers for four games in Los Angeles beginning Monday to start a seven-game road trip.
In the bottom of the fifth, down 4-2, the Giants loaded the bases without an out for Buster Posey. The Brewers brought in Matt Albers in relief, who struck out Posey before Brandon Belt hit a long fly to center that scored one run. After an Evan Longoria walk, Brandon Crawford fouled out, and the Giants had only gotten one run across. They left eight runners on base in total.
The Brewers added an insurance run in the sixth off Derek Holland, and the Giants’ offense was not heard from again.
Milwaukee closer Josh Hader got the last six outs, striking out three without allowing a base-runner.
The best that could be said about Samardzija’s outing was he survived. Through 114 pitches, nine hits and two walks, the big right-hander had no go-to pitch, little movement and little control. With some grit and some luck, he fought through five innings and allowed a manageable four runs, exiting with the Giants down 4-2 but not out of the game.
It was a slight step back for Samardzija, whose ERA now sits at 3.96. He was at 99 pitches through four and fortunate to have given up three runs, but with his spot in the lineup coming up – and amid a stretch of 20 games without an off-day – Bruce Bochy wanted to squeeze three more outs out of Samardzija.
It somewhat backfired when Eric Thames bounced a shot off the right-field foul pole. But Samardzija induced an inning-ending double play from Orlando Arcia and escaped the inning on fumes, allowing a single run in four of five frames.
The strangest frame came in the second, when, with a runner on first and two outs, Christian Yelich lined a hit to right. It somehow trickled in between the padding of the fence and through to the arcade on the other side, Kevin Pillar throwing him arms up. What surely would have scored a run became a ground-rule double, and the Giants escaped when Samardzija struck out Ryan Braun.