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Behind Eric Lauer, Brewers seek bounce-back win against Giants

Sportsnaut
Jun 29, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer (52) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The host San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers will continue their four-game series on Saturday after the first two contests were decided in the final at-bat.

Continuing a trend that began when San Francisco rallied to win 4-2 at Milwaukee with two runs in the ninth inning in April, the Giants rebounded from a 3-2, 10-inning defeat on Thursday with six runs in the last of the ninth for an 8-5 triumph on Friday.

The Brewers accomplished their victory in the series opener when pinch-runner Christian Yelich raced home on an infield single by Jonathan Davis in the top of the 10th. Devin Williams stranded Mike Yastrzemski at third base to end the game.

One night later, Josh Hader had a chance to duplicate Williams’ save; he was protecting a three-run lead before solo homers by Joey Bart and Darin Ruf set the stage for a walk-off grand slam by Yastrzemski with one out in the ninth.

So just as the Brewers went to bed Thursday night looking forward to the rest of the series, this time it’s the Giants who are riding some serious momentum heading into the weekend.

“It seemed like something special was going to happen,” Yastrzemski insisted afterward. “Joey’s homer was huge; Ruffie’s homer was huge. And once (Austin) Slater got on (with a single), it felt like it really flipped. Everyone was really into it and we just got it going.”

Hader had a similar feeling when he surrendered a walk-off, three-run home run to Minnesota’s Jose Miranda earlier in the week.

“You just keep moving on,” Hader said. “It’s 162 games for a reason. At the end of the day, it’s just a little blip. It’s not really going to make or break anything.”

All four starting pitchers so far in the series — Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, San Francisco’s Carlos Rodon and Alex Wood — have pitched well but don’t have a decision. The quartet has allowed just four earned runs in 23 innings.

Giants right-hander Alex Cobb (3-4, 4.57 ERA) and Brewers lefty Eric Lauer (6-3, 3.83) will seek to continue the strong performances Saturday.

Cobb is winless in his last seven starts since May 17, going 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA. He is coming off similar efforts, both against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing three earned runs in six innings in each game. The Giants split the outcomes.

The 34-year-old has pitched well in two previous starts against the Brewers, going 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA. The win came for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, when he struck out 12 in eight innings, allowing one run. He hasn’t faced Milwaukee since 2017.

Lauer hasn’t gotten a decision in his last three starts despite allowing just five earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. The Brewers have won two of the three games.

The former San Diego Padre has never lost to the Giants, going 3-0 with a 3.61 ERA in eight games, including seven starts. The 27-year-old limited the Giants to one run and three hits in seven innings in their lone head-to-head last season, a game San Francisco won 5-1.

–Field Level Media