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Bush, Bell lead Brewers past fading Giants

Sep 22, 2006 - 3:38 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Dave Bush and David Bell combined to provide a damaging blow to the San Francisco Giants' fading playoff hopes.

Bush pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Bell homered and drove in three runs as the Milwaukee Brewers posted a 9-4 victory over the Giants.

San Francisco (75-77), which has lost six of seven and trails San Diego by five games in the National League West Division and Los Angeles and Philadelphia by 4 1/2 games in the chase for the wild card.

"I've played this game for so long," said Giants outfielder Moises Alou, who homered twice. "We can't hang our heads and feel bad. We can all look around and know that we tried our hardest, even if it's not the result we want."

Bush (12-11) allowed four runs and five hits - three home runs - in 7 1/3 innings to win for the third time in his last four starts.

"You sure don't want to give up three home runs, but I also don't want to walk people and make big innings," Bush said. "A couple pitches over the plate I wish I'd had back, but at the same time, when I've got that kind of lead, I was trying to get outs as quickly as possible."

Bush walked one and struck out five and also contributed at the plate, drilling a two-run single in a five-run fifth that gave the Brewers a 7-2 lead.

"It makes things a lot easier for a pitcher when you've got a lead to work with early," Bush said. "I've gotten good run support lately."

Bell snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a two-run homer off Matt Morris in the second inning to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. The blast was Bell's ninth of the season and came after Drew Anderson led off the frame with his first major league hit - a single to left field.

Bell increased the lead to four with an RBI single in the third.

"It was nice to score some runs and help our pitchers out," Bell said. "It's been hard to do lately, and over the last couple of months since I've been here, the pitchers have done such a great job. It's nice to contribute and make it a little easier for them."

The Brewers knocked out Morris in the fifth. Following two one-out walks, Bell's single to center field skipped past Steve Finley, allowing Geoff Jenkins to score on the error. After an intentional walk to Mike Rivera loaded the bases, Bush collected his single to chase Morris from the contest.

"I'm not seeing the Matt Morris stuff I'm accustomed to seeing," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "We've seen it, but tonight was not one of those nights. His stuff is not there and it hasn't been there for a few starts."

Jamey Wright promptly walked three batters, including two with the bases loaded, to make the score, 9-2.

"That five-run inning was big," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "They had battled back and we were a swing of the bat away from being in big trouble. To pile on five runs right there and stay patient and take the walks was big."

Shea Hillenbrand also homered for San Francisco.

Morris (10-15) allowed a season-high nine runs and nine hits in losing his fourth straight start.

"It was a poor performance," Morris said. "I don't know what to say about it. It's pathetic right now. At this point in the season, you should be sharp and that's not where I'm at. It's tough that we're struggling in the situation we're in. It's hard when you can't go out there and put zeros up."

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