They’ll try to avoid being swept in San Francisco for the first time in more than seven years when the Brewers and Giants close out their series on Sunday.
Milwaukee (65-64) has gone 5-13 since Aug. 5, losing 6-2 on Saturday to the Giants (58-72), who are in last in the NL West. The Brewers didn’t losing any more ground in the NL Central, however, because the Chicago Cubs lost to Arizona later that night. Milwaukee remains 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs.
Barry Bonds went 2-for-3 Saturday with two RBIs while four other San Francisco players drove in a run, as the Giants won for the eighth time in their last 10 games. They last swept three games at home from Milwaukee from Aug. 7-9, 2000.
The Brewers got a poor outing from a starter for the second straight game. Yovani Gallardo pitched just three innings, allowing five runs and seven hits after Friday’s starter, Claudio Vargas, was pulled after retiring only two batters and allowing six runs and five hits in an 11-6 loss.
“We’re struggling, but we need to stay focused on what’s ahead,” manager Ned Yost said.
Prince Fielder is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday after serving his two-game suspension for a confrontation with home plate umpire Wally Bell on Aug. 12. Fielder, who has set career highs with 39 homers and 97 RBIs, was ejected after arguing a called third strike and had to be restrained by bench coach Dale Sveum.
The Giants, who entered Friday after scoring seven runs in a three-game set with the Cubs, were averaging just 4.27 runs per game this season - second worst in the majors - coming into this series. They have 26 hits in the first two games of this series.
The Brewers hope Dave Bush (10-9, 4.93 ERA) can provide some relief for a weary Milwaukee bullpen. Bush pitched six solid innings Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs and six hits in a 7-4 victory.
The seven runs of support equaled the support he received in his previous four starts combined. He won for the first time since a July 31 relief appearance against the New York Mets, and for the first time as a starter since July 16 against Arizona.
“He spent every bit of reserve he had to hold that score at two,” Yost said. “To see the boys come back and reward him with a win by getting him some runs was awesome.”
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance against the Giants. He allowed three runs and six hits in six innings against them on July 21 in an 8-0 loss.
Tim Lincecum (7-4, 3.91) faced Bush in that outing and will face the Brewers again Sunday.
Lincecum is hoping to rebound from a disappointing end to his fantastic start on Tuesday against Chicago. Lincecum pitched eight scoreless innings against the Cubs, allowing just two singles, before unraveling in the ninth to allow three runs in an eventual 5-1 loss.
Teammates were still pleased with the rookie right-hander’s effort.
“You have to concentrate the whole game, the whole 27 outs, especially when you have a one-run lead,” shortstop Omar Vizquel told the Giants’ official Web site.
Lincecum is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts against the Brewers. He allowed just four hits in the 8-0 win on July 21.