Sheets helps Brewers complete sweep of GiantsSep 24, 2006 - 9:02 PM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Ben Sheets helped put another nail in the San Francisco Giants' coffin.
Sheets pitched eight strong innings as the Milwaukee Brewers completed a four-game sweep with a 5-3 victory over the Giants.
San Francisco (75-80) now sits 6 1/2 games back of Philadelphia in the National League wild card race with just seven games remaining.
"We're not playing for the same thing we have been playing for, but we still have to play," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "Some young guys are going to play but some veterans are going to play. We have to show the fans of baseball what they paid the ticket for."
Sheets (6-7) allowed two runs and five hits while striking out six. He threw 63 of 98 pitches for strikes and did not issue a walk.
"There's never been a mental issue; it's always been an arm issue that was pain physically," said Sheets, who missed nearly half the season with back and elbow problems. "I never once hesitated to throw the ball when I was out there. There was never a mental hurdle. When it feels good, I pitch. When it feels okay, I pitch.
"Today, I located the ball and Mike (Rivera) called a great game and I kind of kept them off-balance."
Francisco Cordero survived an RBI single by Pedro Feliz and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 16th save in as many chances since joining the club from Texas. The righthander induced rookie Eliezer Alfonzo into a game-ending double play.
David Bell hit a two-run homer in the second inning off rookie Matt Cain (13-11) and Mike Rivera belted a three-run double in the sixth to give the Brewers a 5-2 lead.
"You can never say it's too late (to win games), because at this stage, you play more for next year and show the team that what we have is going to be better next year and that we have the potential to get to the postseason," Rivera said.
Bell has been playing with a heavy heart after his father, Kansas City Royals manager Buddy Bell, was diagnosed with cancer. He went 7-for-16 with two home runs and nine RBI in the series.
"I don't think there's really anything that can take your mind off it, but it'll be nice to see him (on the off day tomorrow)," Bell said. "Every day he's getting a little better."
Cain allowed five runs and seven hits in seven frames, losing his second straight start after winning five straight.
Alfonzo and Tomas de la Rosa had two hits apiece for the Giants, who have dropped eight of their last nine outings.
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