Brewers battle back, fall 4-3 to Giants in 11th
Not much else went right.
Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez lined a single over a five-man infield with the bases loaded in the 11th after Milwaukee rallied to force extra innings, and the San Francisco Giants handed the Brewers a 4-3 loss.
After losing a player to injury in each of the four previous games, Milwaukee is stumbling home bruised and beaten from a 3-5 road trip that took its toll.
"Definitely a very challenging road trip for us, that's for sure," said reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun, who was 1 for 4 with a walk. "It's not easy, but this game's not supposed to be easy. Life isn't easy. We have no choice but to continue to move forward."
The final rally didn't take long.
Buster Poster singled off sidearm submariner Tim Dillard (0-1) leading off the final inning and pinch-runner Emmanuel Burriss moved to second on Angel Pagan's sacrifice bunt.
Dillard walked Brandon Belt intentionally and Ryan Theriot drew a walk to load the bases. Braun moved into the infield from left before Sanchez sent a full-count pitch off Dillard down the left-field line where nobody would've reached it under a traditional configuration anyway.
"I was just trying to get the ball over the infield," said Sanchez, San Francisco's backup catcher. "I feel happy for the whole team. We needed that."
Travis Ishikawa's RBI double handed San Francisco's Santiago Casilla his first blown save in the ninth. The Giants had lost three straight by one run and dropped the opener to the Brewers 6-4 before winning both on the weekend.
Lefty specialist Javier Lopez (3-0) recorded one out for the win. Clay Hensley also pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings after Milwaukee chased Casilla.
"Everything's going to have to go like it did last year where both sides of the ball we do what we're capable of doing, and I really believe we are," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Regardless of the injuries, we still have a good enough team that we can do that."
First baseman Mat Gamel tore the ACL in his right knee on Tuesday in San Diego; Braun left early the next day and missed Friday's series opener in San Francisco with a sore right Achilles; outfielder Carlos Gomez went down Friday with a strained left hamstring; and shortstop Alex Gonzalez's right knee buckled sliding into second Saturday.
San Francisco's banged-up bullpen finally caved before its bats — for a change — brought the club back.
Corey Hart reached on a fielding error by third baseman Ryan Theriot to lead off the ninth. Then Casilla rallied to strike out Jonathan Lucroy and popped up Taylor Green.
With Milwaukee down to its last strike, former Giants pinch-hit specialist Ishikawa doubled on the ninth pitch against Casilla to score Hart and force extra innings. The comeback handed Casilla his first blown save in six chances this season in place of injured closer Brian Wilson.
Defense extended the game even further.
Nyjer Morgan made a leaping grab on the warning track to rob Melky Cabrera of extra bases to end the 10th inning. Morgan, born in San Francisco, pointed back at fans in the bleachers and taunted the crowd running back to the dugout.
Cabrera caught Lucroy's liner in the web of his glove in left and easily doubled up Hart at first base in the 11th inning, setting the stage for Sanchez's walkoff. Giants players scurried out of the dugout and mobbed Sanchez as he rounded first, and the water-cannons in right popped off in what has become a familiar scene in San Francisco the last few years.
About the only damper on the ending for the Giants was it ruined another gem for Matt Cain.
Cain struck out 10 and scattered six hits in seven innings. Aramis Ramirez's bloop single in the first and sacrifice fly in the sixth were the only runs Milwaukee managed off Cain.
Conor Gillaspie lined an RBI double and Pagan beat out a double play at first to drive in another run for the Giants in the first inning off Shaun Marcum. Pagan also doubled leading off the fourth to roll his hitting streak to 20 — the longest active in the majors — and scored on Theriot's one-out single that put San Francisco ahead 3-1.
Marcum allowed three runs on five hits in six innings for a no decision. He hasn't won since his first start April 9 at the Chicago Cubs.
NOTES: The Brewers officially placed Gomez and Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list, calling up Green and fellow INF Edwin Maysonet from Triple-A Nashville. Gonzalez is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday in Milwaukee. ... Fans serenaded Hall of Famer Willie Mays with "Happy Birthday" in the middle of the second inning. Mays, who turned 81 years old, blew out numbered candles on a cake and waved his cap to the crowd from a stadium suite.
Last updated: 8:39 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012