Giants take advantage of comedy of Brewers errors 

click to enlarge Joaquin Arias drove in two runs for the Giants in the eighth inning when Brewers third baseman Jeff Bianchi couldn’t handle his hard-hit ground ball. - MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/AP
  • Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
  • Joaquin Arias drove in two runs for the Giants in the eighth inning when Brewers third baseman Jeff Bianchi couldn’t handle his hard-hit ground ball.

Manager Bruce Bochy shuffled the top of his order on Monday and he turned to his bench to score the go-ahead run in a 4-2 Giants win over the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.

Jeff Francoeur delivered his biggest hit in a Giants uniform, breaking a 1-1 tie -- along with his bat -- with a pinch-hit single to left field with the bases loaded in the eighth.

"I'm glad I hit it off the end of the bat because if I squared it up it might have been a line drive right to the shortstop," Francoeur said.

Francoeur, who went 3-for-4 in his last outing on Saturday with David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays on the mound, said he's felt good swinging the bat after making adjustments with hitting coach Hensley Meulens.

"We went to work in Tampa and it paid off Saturday vs. Price," he said. "I had real good at bats on Saturday, so I felt comfortable going in there tonight."

The Giants added two more runs in the eighth after Brewers third baseman Jeff Bianchi allowed a ground ball off the bat of Joaquin Arias to roll under his glove, through his legs and into left field, scoring Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt. It was the second and third unearned runs the Giants scored against a sloppy Brewers defense.

The win is the Giants' fourth in six games. They remain in last place in the National League West, 12 behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and 10½ back in the wild-card standings.

Bochy rearranged his batting order against the Brewers, hitting Marco Scutaro in the leadoff spot, Brandon Crawford in the No. 2 hole and Hunter Pence third. Despite the changes, the Giants went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine runners on base.

"We didn't get going until the last inning, but it's a lineup we're going to look at for a while," Bochy said.

The Giants opened the scoring in the fourth inning after Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco skipped a ground ball from Gregor Blanco into left field on a double-play attempt, scoring Belt from second.

Belt continued to heat up at the plate, going 3-for-3 and scoring two runs. He's now 6-for-10 in his last four games.

Chad Gaudin (5-2) showed why Bochy is keeping him in the Giants' rotation when Ryan Vogelsong is scheduled return to the mound on Friday. He fanned eight Brewers over 6.1 innings, allowing only one run.

The Brewers tied the game at 1-1 in the seventh when Jonathan Lucroy doubled off Gaudin to left-center and Francisco brought him in with a ground-rule double.

But the Giants escaped the inning when reliever Javier Lopez got Rickie Weeks to hit into a 4-6-3 double play on a low-and-away sinker.

"Javy saved us," Bochy said.

Lopez said he was looking to induce a double-play ball.

"What I'm really just trying to get them to do is make contact," he said. "I'm not going to be able to throw it by guys, I don't have that kind of velocity."

Sergio Romo surrendered a home run to Francisco in the top of the ninth, but he managed to close out the inning and earn his 27th save. Santiago Casilla (5-2), who pitched the top half of the eighth, earned the win.

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Paul Gackle

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Tuesday, Dec 6, 2016

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