Missed chances hurt Brewers in 4-2 loss
SAN FRANCISCO — A missed bunt, a couple of errors and a broken-bat single conspired against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Tyler Thornburg produced another quality start, but his own missed bunt quelled one scoring rally in the Brewers’ 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Thornburg went six innings, allowing an unearned run on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four. Thornburg has allowed one earned run on the road through his first five major-league appearances, a span of 21 innings.
He’s mostly upset about missing a squeeze bunt in the third that would have put Milwaukee ahead.
“Definitely the bunt,” Thornburg said. “That’s something I am going to think about all night even though I will try to flush it. I hit in college and it’s something I pride myself on to get runs for myself. It was buntable.”
Scooter Gennett, who had tripled with one out, was an easy out. It appeared as though Thornburg bunted right through the pitch.
“It’s something I am going to work on in the cage before my next start,” Thornburg said.
Juan Francisco hit a home run and drove in two for the Brewers, who have lost four of five. Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucroy each had two hits.
“We had opportunities and we didn’t come through,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “There were a couple of missed calls that hurt us and they got a couple of breaks.”
Errors by Francisco and Jeff Bianchi allowed the Giants to score three unearned runs on the night. Jeff Francoeur’s broken-bat single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the go-ahead run.
“I don’t know how he missed that one,” Roenicke said of Gregor Blanco’s grounder that went under Bianchi’s glove, allowing two runs to score. “He’s a good fielder and he does make those plays. When it goes bad, it surprises you.”
John Axford (4-5) took the loss after walking two of the three batters he faced. The only out was a drive by Buster Posey to the deepest part of the park.
“You never want to put the first runner on in a tight ballgame like that,” Axford said.
He walked Hunter Pence, who stole second, to start the inning. After Posey’s at bat, Axford walked Pablo Sandoval intentionally, throwing wildly on the fourth ball to allow Pence to reach third.
“I’ve never done that before in my life,” Axford said. “The ball, even before I was throwing it, was slipping out of my hand. I tried to compensate some way and I just air mailed it.”
The Giants had runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings and were 0 for 9 in those situations. They were 1 for 13 overall.
In the fourth, Blanco hit a sharp grounder to Francisco at first, who threw the ball into left field trying for the out at second, allowing the first run to score.
The Brewers evened things in the seventh, with Francisco’s ground-rule double driving in a run.
Javier Lopez got pinch hitter Rickie Weeks to ground into a double play with the bases loaded in the seventh to preserve the tie.
“I was arguing with him,” Weeks said. “I thought I had it. He doesn’t mean to miss a call and you can’t blame the umpires. There are no excuses in this game.”
Francisco added a solo shot in the ninth.
NOTES: Brewers IF Aramis Ramirez (left patellar tendinitis) ran the bases and will do so again on Wednesday. He will then be reevaluated and could join the team in Seattle this weekend. ... Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (left hamstring strain) will play long toss in the next few days after reporting some tightness following his long toss session on Saturday. ... Brewers RHP Brandon Kintzler has not allowed a run in his last 12 outings, a span of 15 innings. ... RHP Wily Peralta (7-11, 4.57) will start for the Brewers on Tuesday. He’s lost his last two starts. ... OF Carlos Gomez was 7 for 10 against the Giants this year before going 0 for 4. He’s hitless in his last 18 at bats.