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Marcum and Brewers edge Giants

Jul 23, 2011 - 5:54 AM San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Shaun Marcum kept the Giants in check and Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy each drove in two runs to push the Brewers past the Giants, 4-2, in the opener of a three-game series.

Marcum (9-3) went seven innings and limited San Francisco to two runs on four hits. The right-hander also struck out five and did not walk a batter in the Brewers' third win in four games.

Matt Cain (8-6) made it through six innings for the 17th straight start, but gave up four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits to take the loss, just his second since the beginning of June.

The NL-West leading Giants dropped their second straight game following a 7-1 stretch.

"They battled and put the ball in play," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the NL Central leaders. "We were off a little bit tonight. If you don't execute, you're going to get beat."

One of the Brewers' big bats, Ryan Braun, sat out with a nagging left calf strain, but the bottom of the lineup stepped up in the All-Star's absence.

Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Betancourt stepped up with runners on the corners and stroked a gapper to left to plate Prince Fielder.

Lucroy followed with a single through the left side of the infield, and Casey McGehee crossed home before Betancourt scored standing up when Eli Whiteside couldn't handle Cody Ross' one-hop throw from left.

"The throw home...[Betancourt's] out if it doesn't skip," Bochy said.

Both pitchers got in a groove from there and cruised until the sixth.

Jeff Keppinger, in his first start at second base after being acquired in a trade with Houston, rushed a throw to first on a grounder hit by Mark Kotsay, and Aubrey Huff bobbled the throw to put the leadoff hitter on base.

Cain retired the next two batters, and McGehee singled to left to put men on the corners, leading to Betancourt punching a dribbler between third and short for another insurance run.

"I always talk about that consistent offense, and sometimes when your big boys aren't doing it all the time you need those (other) guys to swing it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

McGehee was held at third on Lucroy's single to right, and Marcum struck out to leave the bases loaded.

Aaron Rowand came off the bench and pinch-hit for Cain leading off the bottom half and smacked his third home run of the season to bring the Giants back within two.

Marcum, who left his previous start early due to a neck strain, got the next six hitters on fly balls, and the Brewers' new-look bullpen took over from there.

Francisco Rodriguez, who blew a lead in his previous outing, hurled a 1-2-3 eighth, then John Axford worked around a one-out single in the ninth to lock down his 27th save of the season.

Andres Torres led off the Giants' first inning with a double, moved to third on a groundout and raced home when Pablo Sandoval lined one off Marcum's backside.

Sandoval, battling a sore right quadriceps, was thrown out on the play and finished 0-for-4 at the plate, including a flyout to left in the ninth.

Game Notes

Cain recorded his 16th quality start in 20 outings this season. He finished with a season-low two strikeouts...The Giants had given Cain just 10 runs of support over his previous five starts...Guillermo Mota, Jeremy Affeldt and Ramon Ramirez each hurled a scoreless inning in relief. The Giants' bullpen has allowed just one run in 26 2/3 innings since the All-Star break...The Giants' Jonathan Sanchez, on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis, tossed five innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Fresno and gave up two runs on three hits.

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    Brewers 4, Giants 2  FinalJul 25 3:57 PM


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    Brewers 4, Giants 1  Top 6, 2 OutsJul 22 11:43 PM

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    Brewers 3, Giants 1  Top 2, 1 OutJul 22 10:44 PM

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