Huff helps Giants rally past Brewers
MILWAUKEE – Aubrey Huff said he’d never been so tired playing in a game when he came to bat in the seventh inning. The Milwaukee Brewers are tired, too, of playing the same mediocre baseball that’s hampered them all season.
Huff hit a two-run single after another costly error by shortstop Alcides Escobar and the slumping San Francisco Giants beat Milwaukee 6-1 on Monday.
“That whole game I was running on fumes. If I don’t get tomorrow off, I’ll be running on fumes until the All-Star break,” said Huff, who shortened his swing on his big hit. “I got lucky enough to just flip one out to the left.”
With the game tied at 1 in seventh, the Giants loaded the bases with one out against reliever Kameron Loe. Freddy Sanchez then hit a grounder to Escobar, who dropped the ball and failed to get a forceout. Escobar said he took this eye off the ball.
“I think I would’ve had a double play,” he said. “Every day there’s a lot of balls to the shortstop. I don’t want to drop any balls. That sometimes happens. Yesterday I dropped two. I don’t want to drop any.”
Huff then singled against Zach Braddock to make it 4-1. Huff had been stuck in a 3-for-17 rut with runners in scoring position before his clutch hit, which helped hand Loe (0-1) his first loss in the majors since Sept. 28, 2007.
Braddock also threw a wild pitch that allowed Sanchez to score.
Brewers manager Ken Macha said Escobar would take at least two days off before the All-Star break.
“I’m more frustrated than the fans are,” Macha said. “Today it comes down to one play. You think we were getting a double play and then couldn’t get it done.”
Corey Hart extended his hitting streak to 20 games in the fifth, but Milwaukee finished 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
“They put the ball in play with the bases loaded. We didn’t. We struck out or popped up. They put it in play and made us make the play and we didn’t do it,” Macha said.
Buster Posey added the final run with a solo homer in the eighth for San Francisco, which won for the second time in 10 games.
Jonathan Sanchez (7-6) struggled with his command, issuing six walks and throwing three wild pitches, but managed to go six innings to help his tired bullpen. He allowed five hits while throwing 115 pitches.
“He got out of a lot of tough situations. He got better as the game went on with getting ahead of hitters,” Posey said. “That’s going to be huge for him because he’s got as good of stuff as anybody, but you can’t really use it when you’re behind in the count.”
Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the second when Rickie Weeks walked to force in a run.
Santiago Casilla, Chris Ray and Dan Runzler followed Sanchez with a scoreless inning apiece. San Francisco used eight relievers in Sunday’s 15-inning loss to the Rockies that lasted a Coors Field-record 5 hours, 24 minutes.
“After all the losses we had an especially the game we had last night, it’s pretty tough to keep battling,” Sanchez said. “We battled the whole game and finally we got the win.”
The Giants are trying to move up from fourth in the NL West standings. Pat Burrell told Huff before the game that San Francisco should work to try and gain one game in the division race per week. The Giants are 61/2 games behind San Diego.
“That makes sense, man,” Huff said. “One game a week. That way it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.”
Escobar committed consecutive errors with two outs in the third inning of Sunday’s 7-1 loss to St. Louis that paved the way for five unearned runs. Worse, ace Yovani Gallardo ended up straining a muscle in his left side in the extended inning and likely will not be available to pitch in his first All-Star game.
The 23-year-old Escobar, who was booed in his final at-bat in the eighth, has a team-high 14 errors this season.
“He’s got to be focused on every play,” Macha said. “Every play is important. Every out is important.”
NOTES: Hart’s career-best hitting streak is 22 games. … Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said his scouting department was in town conducting meetings. The Brewers likely will wait until after the homestand to decide what role they’ll play in the trade market. … Giants GM Brian Sabean is also in Milwaukee for this series. … Both Gallardo and Melvin said the right-hander would take a wait-and-see approach with his injury, but Macha said Gallardo would miss his next start and the All-Star game.
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