Thankfully for the Milwaukee Brewers the St. Louis Cardinals are working as hard to keep the Crew in first place as the Brewers are to fall out of it.
After losing 2-of-3 to both the Pirates and Padres, the Brewers got trounced on Friday in the opener of their three game series with the San Francisco Giants.
Mike Fiers (4-1, 1.54 ERA) took the mound on Saturday to try and stop the bleeding and give the Brewers a win after St. Louis lost the first game of their double-header with the Cubs earlier in the day.
Jake Peavy (3-13, 4.34 ERA) took the mound for the Giants and was looking to continue the success they had on Friday. And that he did.
Peavy took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Giants walked away with a 3-1 win, and a series win, regardless of the result of Sunday’s series finale.
Peavy didn’t allow a base runner his first turn through the order, and recorded six strike outs in those nine batters through three innings. Jonathan Lucroy, Scooter Gennett, and Khris Davis all managed to put the ball in play to make outs, the rest of the lineup whiffed.
Fiers also worked three scoreless innings, but allowed three hits. Joe Panik and Pablo Sandoval singled in the first inning, and Angel Pagan singled in the third for the Giants, but Fiers kept them all off the board.
The Giants broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth after Peavy had another three-up, three-down inning in the top of the inning. Carlos Gomez actually walked to lead off the inning but was caught stealing second base.
Sandoval and Pence had back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the fourth for the Giants and Michael Morse knocked a double deep into the outfield to bring them both in and give San Francisco a 2-0 lead.
Two batters later Brandon Crawford singled to right to bring in Morse and give the Giants a 3-0 lead; Crawford stole second. Fiers struck out Peavy and Pagan to end the inning.
Peavy kept the Brewers hitless through the fifth inning, working through Aramis Ramirez, Gennett and Davis. Fiers returned the favor in the bottom half of the fifth.
The Brewers finally put together a threat in the sixth inning. Jean Segura drew a one-out walk and advanced to second two batters later when Gomez drew a two-out walk, but that was it for the Brewers as Lucroy grounded out to end the inning.
Fiers struck out Pence to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Morse followed with a fly ball to center and Gomez dropped it, so Morse was ruled safe.
Ron Roenicke went out to argue that Gomez lost the ball pulling it out of his glove, and the play was reviewed. Upon review Morse was called out as Gomez clearly caught the ball and then tried to flip it to his hand and miffed it.
Gregor Blanco walked on four pitches to extend the inning. He advanced to second on a wild pickoff throw by Fiers. Fiers came back to strike out Peavy to end the inning.
With one out in the seventh Aramis Ramirez got grazed by a pitch to become the Brewers’ fourth base runner, still without a hit. Gennett followed with a grounder that looked like it was headed for the outfield, but Crawford knocked it down and started a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Fiers went back to the hill for the bottom of the seventh and worked a perfect inning against Pagan, Panik and Buster Posey.
Mark Reynolds broke up Peavy’s no hitter with one-out in the top of the eighth. Reynolds took a 1-2 single to right field for a broken bat single. Peavy came right back and struck out Segura.
Weeks singled up the middle on Affeldt’s first and only pitch. Bochy called on Sergio Romo to pitch to Gomez. Romo struck out Gomez on three sliders to end the threat and the inning.
Peavy went 7 2/3 innings and allowed one hit and three walks. He struck out nine Brewers.
Jeremy Jeffress came on to pitch the bottom of the eight for the Crew. Fiers went seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out nine. Jeffress quickly got outs to Sandoval and Pence, but Travis Ishikawa (who came in as a defensive replacement for Morse earlier) singled to extend the inning.
Ishikawa knocked a pitch back up the middle, it hit Jeffress in the foot and he couldn’t find it to throw him out. Blanco followed with a single to left on an 0-2 count to put two on for Crawford who singled to load the bases. Gennett knocked won Crawford’s grounder up the middle, saving a run, but he had no chance at an out. Matt Duffy came in to pinch hit for Romo and grounded out to Ramirez at third to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Santiago Casilla came in to pitch the ninth for the Giants. Lucroy led off the inning with his 46th double of the season against the righty allowing just a .190 average against right handed hitters this season. Braun followed with a single up the middle to bring in Lucroy and put the Brewers on the board.
Ramirez grounded to Sandoval at third; he fired to second to retire Braun. The throw was wild, and Panik had to move wildly to try and hold the bag. The umpires went to the replay to review the call. The ruling on the field was upheld.
Gennett flew out to center for the second out of the inning. Davis was hit by a Casilla on a full count to bring up Mark Reynolds with two on. Reynolds grounded out to Sandoval at third.
Fiers got the loss for Milwaukee, his second of the season. Peavy took the win for the Giants, tossing is best game in years. Castilla got the save. The Brewers loss drops them to just one game over the Cardinals and two games over the Pirates in the division.