Giants 3, Brewers 0
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Brad Hennessey really wanted to hit a home run in the major leagues, but he set his expectations low after failing to even hit one out during batting practice.
That all changed Thursday night when the right-hander pitched seven scoreless innings and took care of the offense with a three-run homer, leading the San Francisco Giants over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0.
“I’ve tried (in batting practice) and it just hasn’t happened,” Hennessey said.
Milwaukee starter Victor Santos (3-11) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Hennessey hit a 2-0 pitch for his first homer in 30 career at-bats.
“I was prepared to never hit a home run in my career in the big leagues,” said Hennessey, who added that he had got two balls to the wall in batting practice at SBC Park in San Francisco. “Now, I can relax. It’s like icing on the cake.”
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said the problem was the pitches that preceded the homer.
“The mistake that he made wasn’t the 2-0 fastball right down the middle, it was getting to 2-0 on the guy,” he said. “You get the situation set up to get to the pitcher.
“The key there is to get ahead in that situation,” he said. “He fell behind, then he did what he was supposed to, he went right after him at 2-0. Really, Victor’s downfall was getting to 2-0.”
San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said he thought the Brewers were shocked that Hennessey didn’t take the 2-0 pitch. Alou said he let Hennessey swing because the Giants’ next batter, Jason Ellison, had been struggling.
“He’s not a long ball guy,” Alou said of Ellison. “So, I let the pitcher hit the long ball.”
Hennessey (4-3), one of the team’s first-round draft picks in 2001, rebounded from the worst outing of his short career, when he gave up eight runs in 4 1-3 innings in a 16-4 loss to Florida on Saturday.
He limited the Brewers to three hits and one walk while striking out seven in his 16th major league start.
“I wanted to try to turn it around from my last start,” Hennessey said. “My biggest difference was making a quality pitch when I had to.”
Milwaukee was shut out for the second consecutive day and seventh time this year. The Brewers have lost 10 consecutive home games to the Giants.
San Francisco finished with only four hits against three pitchers.
The Giants managed only a walk over the first four innings. With one out in the fifth, Deivi Cruz struck out on a wild pitch but reached second when the ball got past catcher Damian Miller and rolled to the wall. One out later, Mike Matheny was intentionally walked so Santos could face Hennessey.
The pitcher took two balls before hitting the third pitch over the left field wall as Santos crouched on the mound in disgust.
Santos pitched six innings, giving up three runs and three hits. Despite the solid outing, it was the pitch to Hennessey that defined the game.
“As soon as I let it go, I knew it was a bad pitch,” Santos said.
The Brewers came within a couple of feet of tying the game in the fifth. With two on and two outs, Brady Clark’s long fly landed just left of the foul pole in the stands in left.
Clark then grounded out to end the inning, and the Brewers never got a runner past first after that.
Wisconsin athletic director and football coach Barry Alvarez threw out the ceremonial first pitch hours after announcing this would be his last season as the school’s football coach. He will remain as AD. … Brewers rookie 2B Rickie Weeks, in a 1-for-11 slump, was given the night off. … Giants SS Omar Vizquel passed Luke Appling for fifth on the all-time list for games at the position (2,219). Larry Bowa is fourth with 2,222.