SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brewers reliever Jandel Gustave’s balk with the bases loaded allowed Wilmer Flores to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and the San Francisco Giants held off Milwaukee 2-1 on Saturday night.
Gustave replaced Brent Suter (1-3) with two on and two outs. After hitting Evan Longoria with a pitch to load the bases, Gustave got ahead of Mike Yastrzemski and had a 1-2 count when home plate umpire Pat Hoberg called a balk as a sold-out Oracle Park crowd roared.
“It looked like there was a little flinch there,” Yastrzemski said. “Obviously it’s not the most exciting way to win but we’ll take any win we can.”
Some Giants players were unsure about the call. Several Brewers players watched replays in the clubhouse afterward and shook their head in disagreement.
Crew chief Bruce Dreckman said it was “pretty cut and dry.”
“It’s a start and a stop,” Dreckman told a pool reporter. “When they start bringing their hands up, they can’t just bring them up and stop in mid-stroke of their pitching delivery.”
Dominic Leone earned his second save when he got Kolten Wong to strike out looking to end the game after the Brewers put the tying run on third in the ninth.
Darin Ruf homered for the second consecutive game, helping San Francisco win its sixth in eight games.
“It’s nice to win some of these close games,” Yastrzemski said. “We’ve had some heartbreakers this year where we’ve lost by one run when we’ve been in the game. It’s nice to just be on the winning side of that.”
Omar Narvaez had a sacrifice fly for Milwaukee. The Brewers’ lead in the NL Central fell to one game over St. Louis.
John Brebbia (5-1) retired two batters to win.
One day after the Giants hit three home runs off Brewers closer Josh Hader in the ninth inning, including a walk-off grand slam, Alex Cobb and Eric Lauer kept both offenses in check until Ruf’s second home run in two days.
The Giants first baseman, who homered in the ninth inning on Friday, crushed a 2-2 pitch from Lauer into the left field stands with two outs in the sixth.
Milwaukee tied it on Narvaez’s sacrifice fly in the eighth that plated Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe doubled leading off the inning and took third when Yastrzemski bobbled the ball.
Lauer allowed two hits over seven innings. He walked three and struck out four. Cobb, winless since May 17, pitched four-hit ball and had five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
“He continued to show that good stuff, the velocity, and also a really good split,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “It was pretty easy to keep him out there.”
SECOND TRY NOT A CHARM
Jonathan Davis caught a break in the eighth inning when he stole second base and the Giants failed in their attempt to have it overturned by replay. But Davis was thrown out when he tried to take third with left-handed hitting Christian Yelich batting.
Brewers: OF Tyrone Taylor, out since July 2 while in concussion protocol, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville. … RHP Chi Chi González cleared waivers and elected free agency after being designated for assignment earlier in the week.
Giants: 3B Evan Longoria returned from a rehab assignment and was reinstated from the Injured List. RHP Jacob Junis also returned from the IL. … SS Brandon Crawford was placed on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. RHP Mauricio Llovera was put on the 15-day IL with a right flexor strain.
Giants RHP Logan Webb (8-3, 2.82 ERA) and Brewers RHP Jason Alexander (2-1, 4.73) take the mound Sunday in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break. Webb has allowed one run over his previous two starts covering 14 innings. Alexander is allowing opponents a .314 average over nine games this season.