MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ben Gamel picked a great time to break out of a slump.
Gamel’s pinch-hit double in the bottom of the ninth drove in Ryan Braun with the winning run and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday night.
“It was a big hit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “A two-strike hit. It helps us for tomorrow, but more importantly, it’s a win.”
Gamel snapped a 0 for 13 skid and recorded his first career walk-off hit.
Braun led off the inning against Reyes Moronta (3-5) and reached on shortstop Brandon Crawford’s fielding error. After Mike Moustakas and Jesús Aguilar struck out, Keston Hiura walked. Gamel stepped in for Jeremy Jeffress (3-2) and hit a 2-2 pitched into the right-field corner.
“(Moronta) had a really good slider going, so I was just looking for anything elevated in the zone,” Gamel said.
As Braun crossed the plate, the Brewers charged out of the dugout after Gamel to celebrate.
San Francisco tied it with two runs in the ninth off Jeffress. Crawford walked and took second on Austin Slater’s one-out single. Pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt drove in one run with a single to center and Slater raced home when center fielder Lorenzo Cain misplayed the ball.
“I didn’t make sure it was in my glove and took my head off it,” Cain said. “That just can’t happen in that situation.”
San Francisco lost for just the second time in their last nine games and the last eight on the road.
“It’s just unfortunate,” Brandon Belt said. “We fought back. Did the best we could. Pitchers did great. Just ended up losing.”
The Giants went ahead 2-1 in the seventh on pinch-hitter Slater’s RBI double off Alex Claudio.
However, Sam Dyson failed to protect the lead in the eighth. Moustakas, Aguilar and Hiura opened the inning with consecutive doubles to put the Brewers ahead. Pinch-hitter Eric Thames singled to move Hiura to third. Derek Holland replaced Dyson and walked pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal to load the bases, and Orlando Arcia hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
The Giants loaded the bases on an error, a base hit and a walk in the first, but Davies avoided putting the Brewers in a big hole. He allowed a sacrifice fly by Mike Yastrzemski and nothing more.
Milwaukee starter Zach Davies doubled and scored in the fifth when Christian Yelich reached on a fielding error by second baseman Joe Panik.
Giants: OF Alex Dickerson experienced some back tightness in Friday night’s game. Manager Bruce Bochy kept him out of Saturday’s lineup, but said that he was available to pinch hit. … OF Austin Slater got the day off, until pinch-hitting in the seventh.
Brewers: LHP Gio González (left arm fatigue) is scheduled to make a rehab start Monday for Triple-A San Antonio.
BUMGARNER GRINDS IT OUT
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner showed no effects of taking a line drive off his pitching elbow in his previous start.
“It’s not completely normal, yet, but it was good enough,” he said. “There’s no pain. It feels normal. There’s still some swelling in there, some bruising.”
Bumgarner left after the second inning last Saturday against St. Louis when he got hit by José Martinez’s wicked line drive. Bumgarner threw 39 pitches before exiting against the Cardinals. X-rays were negative as it turned out to be an elbow contusion.
He threw 103 pitches, scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked one in five innings. The Brewers scored an unearned run in the fifth.
BRAUN TO ATTEND SKAGGS SERVICE
Braun plans on attending the memorial service for Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs on July 22 in Santa Monica, California. Braun and Skaggs worked out together during the offseason and formed a strong friendship. Braun will miss the Brewers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park that day.
Braun and Christian Yelich didn’t change out of their uniforms right away after Friday night’s the game. They sat and watched the Angels’ on-the-field tribute to Skaggs.
“Both of us were crying and emotional watching it,” Braun said. “Whether people are spiritual or religious or whatever it is, it takes your belief to a whole nother level. You know that he was watching it and enjoying every second. That was incredible. It was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever seen in sports.”
BREWERS ROSTER MOVES
The Brewers selected the contract of RHP Jay Jackson from Triple-A San Antonio and, in return, optioned INF Mauricio Dubon back to the team’s top affiliate. Jackson made three appearances over 2 1/3 innings during his first stint and is 0-0 with a 19.29 ERA.
Giants: RHP Tyler Beede (2-3, 5.64 ERA) makes his ninth start of the season. The Giants are 6-2 when he takes the mound, including winning four of his last five outings. He’s never faced the Brewers.
Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-9, 5.40 ERA) is 0-6 with a 5.77 ERA over his last eight starts. He makes his first start of the season against the Giants. He is 9-7 with a 3.11 ERA in 21 starts and one relief appearance against them.