Brewers 6, Giants 2
Sheets allowed six hits in his 13th career complete game and the Brewers took advantage of rookie Tim Lincecum’s wildness in a 6-2 victory over San Francisco on Tuesday night that extended the Giants’ losing streak to six.
But Sheets grimaced when asked about his matchups with Bonds, who went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout after being watched by commissioner Bud Selig in a low-key appearance at Miller Park the night before.
“From where I was standing it would be tough to not think I threw more strikes than got called, but I’m not going to whine about it,” said Sheets, who credited plate umpire Dana DeMuth with a consistent strike zone.
Bonds just shook his head no in the Giants clubhouse after the game as reporters approached and left a few minutes later. He has said he does not plan to talk to the media in Milwaukee during the three-game series that ends Wednesday.
Bonds remains at 748 home runs, seven shy of Hank Aaron’s record since hitting one in Boston on Sunday. After homering 11 times in his first 76 at-bats, the Giants’ slugger has only three in the 96 at-bats since.
Meanwhile the Giants are struggling, losing 18 of the last 24 while being outscored 38-17 in the last six, the Giants’ longest losing stretch this season.
“It’s been a while since we won a game,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “There’s no one out there happy with what’s happening. Nobody has to tell us we have to get our act together. They’re trying. Sometimes you try too hard to get out of something like this. But that is all you can do.”
Sheets (8-3) was dominant again. He’s allowed three runs or less in 12 straight starts and went the distance for the second time this season. Prince Fielder added three RBIs for the NL Central-leading Brewers.
“When you locate the heater, you feel a lot better about yourself,” Sheets said. “I think a fastball located is the hardest pitch to hit.”
Bonds walked in the second and swung ferociously through a third strike in the fourth, spinning 180 degrees after missing the 95 mph fastball.
“That was mislocated, but it was up and out of the strike zone so it was fine,” Sheets said. “I’d like to act like I meant to do that.”
Ryan Klesko hit a two-run homer on the next pitch to cut the Brewers’ lead to 6-2.
That was it against Sheets, who struck out four in his first complete game since throwing a two-hitter on opening day. He was still reaching 95 mph on the radar gun in the ninth inning.
“This is what we expect from Benny, to come out and pitch games like this,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “You give him a six-run lead and you’ve got to trust that he’s not giving it up, and he’s going to get you through this game, and he’s going to pitch nine innings. And he did it—perfectly.”
Lincecum’s rough night started when Corey Hart led off with a single. He then walked the next three hitters—including Fielder for Milwaukee’s first run — before Bill Hall and Johnny Estrada added back-to-back sacrifice flies to make it 3-0.
Lincecum (2-2), who was analyzing his mechanics before the game, was out of the strike zone on 15 of his first 19 pitches.
It didn’t get much better in the second for the hard-throwing right-hander who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday. With two out, he allowed Ryan Braun’s RBI single and Fielder’s two-run double to make it 6-0.
“I was getting up on the mound pretty quick after a pitch without taking a breath and focusing,” Lincecum said. “I need to take my time because every pitch has its purpose.”
After a mound visit, Lincecum got the next out and finished four innings, allowing five hits to go along with four walks and six strikeouts.
“I think I can take a lot of positives from the last two innings,” Lincecum said.
Since being no-hit by Justin Verlander on June 12, the Brewers have won six of their last seven and have the best mark at home in the NL at 24-12.
“I kept trying to explain to people that we don’t get excited when we’re really doing well and we don’t get excited when we’re not doing well,” Yost said. “There’s a lot of ups and downs.”
Sheets had his third hit this season in the fourth, more than the total he had in the past two years combined. … Giants C Bengie Molina was out of the lineup after taking a foul ball off his right hand Monday. X-rays were negative. C Guillermo Rodriguez started the second game of his career in Molina’s place. … Bonds will take Wednesday off. … Brewers SS J.J. Hardy was a late scratch with tightness in his left hip. Counsell started in his place.