After taking Monday off to rest and recover the first place Brewers were back at it Tuesday for the first game of their three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
Nelson had a start much like he last, cruising through five innings before running into trouble the third time through the order, but the Brewers weathered the storm and won on a Gerardo Parra home run, 4-3.
Nelson needed just 10 pitches to record a ground out and two strike outs in the first inning. Lincecum retiring the Brewers in order, and like Nelson he recorded two whiffs on 10 pitches.
With one-out in the top of the second Gregor Blanco singled to left for the game’s first hit and base runner but that was it for the Giants. Lincecum mowed through Aramis Ramirez, Jonathan Lucroy and Mark Reynolds in the bottom half of the inning.
The Giants got a two-out infield single from Hunter Pence in the top of the second inning and Joe Panik followed with a single up the middle to put two on, but that was it for the Giants as Brandon Belt lined out to Gomez to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the third Jimmy Nelson collected the Brewers’ first hit of the game, just the second hit of his professional (AA-AAA-MLB) career. He came in to score on a Gomez homerun (16) to left to give Milwaukee the early lead.
Pablo Sandoval reached on an error by Segura for the only Giant action in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the inning Lucroy knocked a two-out double (36) to left, but Reynolds couldn’t bring him home.
Nelson picked up another three-up, three-down inning in the top of the fifth for the Crew. At this point he had allowed just three hits and no walks.
Rickie Weeks knocked a lead off double in the bottom of the fifth. Sandoval got a glove on it while diving but he couldn’t knock it down. Weeks moved to third on a wild pitch with two outs.
Gomez followed with a beautiful bunt for a hit to drive in Weeks and give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead heading into the sixth inning.
Panik led off the top of the sixth with a sharp single to right. It almost got behind Braun on an in-between hop, but he knocked it down to hold Panik at first.
Belt followed with a double (6) off the wall in left-center, moving Panik to third. Sandoval drove them both home with a long home run (13) to right center to tie the game at three.
Ramirez knocked a one-out single for the Brewers in the bottom half of the frame. He moved to third on a double (37) off the very top of the wall in center by Lucroy.
After a hard ground out by Reynolds, Lincecum walked Weeks to load the bases for Segura but he bounced out to short to end the inning with three men stranded.
Despite his sixth inning struggles, Nelson returned to the mound for the seventh to face the bottom of the Giants lineup. With one out in the inning Travis Ishikawa pinch hit for Lincecum, ending the Giants starters’ night.
Nelson allowed just a walk to Hunter Pence in the inning and sent the game to the bottom of the seventh with the Brewers in a 3-3 tie.
Lincecum threw six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out eight. Nelson threw seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out five.
Gerardo Parra gave the Brewers the lead once again though with his first hit as a Brewer, a home run (7) to right-center to make the game 4-3. Machi followed the home run by plunking Braun on a 1-0 count to extend the inning.
Braun moved to second on a wild pitch by Machi, but the big reliever came back to strike out Ramirez to end the inning.
Will Smith came on to toss the eighth inning for the Brewers. After inducing a Belt pop out, he walked Sandoval. The Giants sent Michael Morse to pinch hit for Gregor Blanco, and Ron Roenicke countered by bringing in Jeremy Jeffress.
Jeffress rewarded the Brewer skipper’s faith in him by walking Morse. Gerardo Parra made a sliding catch into the wall in left to record the second out of the inning on a looping fly ball by Brandon Crawford.
Buster Posey came on to pinch hit for Juan Perez with two on and two out. After a called strike one, Jeffress threw three straight balls to Posey to fall behind 3-1. Posey fouled off a fastball down the middle to go into a full count before Jeffress struck him out on a curveball.
Machi returned to the hill for the bottom of the eighth for the Giants and the defense behind him played musical chairs: Posey to first, Morse to left, Belt to right from first, Pence to center from right.
Lucroy led off the inning with a walk on five pitches but was thrown out attempting to steal second on a hit and run where Reynolds failed to make contact.
Reynolds grounded out for the second out of the inning. Machi struck out Weeks to end the inning.
Francisco Rodriguez came on to get the save for Milwaukee. He got two quick outs before walking Pence to give the Giants some life. Panik hit a slow roller up the middle. Weeks fielded it around Pence and fired to first but Panik was ruled safe.
Mark Reynolds called for Roenicke to come challenge the call and it went to replay review and the call was overturned, with Panik being ruled out and the game ending with the Brewers on top 4-3.
Nelson got the win for Milwaukee and Machi took the loss for the Giants. K-Rod earned his 33rd save.