Giants 4, Milwaukee 2

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Rickie Weeks #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers tries to score on a double by Casey McGehee #14 and is tagged out at home
by Chris Stewart #37 of the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park
July 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California

When their starters fail to carry the load, the Giants know their bullpen will likely pick them up.

Ryan Vogelsong struggled to get through five innings and exited with a one-run lead Saturday against the Brewers.

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Ryan Vogelsong #32 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning
during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park

The All-Star was nonetheless able to pick up the win because of a relief contingent that has given up just one run in 30 2/3 innings since the All-Star break, including four hitless frames in a 4-2 decision in the second game of a three-game series between first-place clubs.

Brian Wilson once again anchored the staff with a five-pitch ninth inning to record his 30th save of the season.

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San Francisco Giants reliever Brian Wilson throws to the Milwaukee Brewers
during the ninth inning

Nate Schierholtz went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Aubrey Huff knocked in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, helping San Francisco rebound from a 4-2 loss in Friday’s series opener.

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Nate Schierholtz connected with the ball to bring home both Aubrey Huff and Jeff Keppinger
to put the Giants back in the lead 2-1 against the Milwaukee Brewers

Randy Wolf (6-8) was charged with three runs on seven hits and three walks over six innings to take the loss, which dropped the Brewers back into a tie with the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.

Ryan Braun, who sat out Friday with a nagging calf injury, stepped to the plate after three scoreless innings and took the first pitch he saw over the wall in left for his 19th home run of the season.

Two batters later, Vogelsong gave up a double to Rickie Weeks during an at-bat that saw bench coach Ron Wotus get ejected by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook for arguing balls and strikes.

Chris Stewart, Vogelsong’s battery mate, made a pair of nice plays to keep it 1-0. First, Casey McGehee hit a single to left that looked as if it was deep enough to score Weeks. Cody Ross’ throw home was off line, but Stewart lunged and got his glove on Weeks just before he slid across the plate.

Then, with runners on the corners, the Brewers attempted an ill-advised double steal that resulted in Stewart faking the throw to second and catching McGehee leaning off third for the final out.

A walk and two straight singles loaded the bases for Schierholtz in the bottom half, and the team’s second leading run producer knocked in Huff and Jeff Keppinger with a double down the left-field line.

Nyjer Morgan tied things in the bottom half by doubling home Corey Hart, who had tripled into the right-field gap with two away.

Morgan, though, was thrown out trying to steal third with Braun ahead in the count, and the Giants took the lead right back in the bottom half.

Aaron Rowand led off with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on an infield single. Huff followed with a flyout to left, and Braun caught the ball flat-footed, allowing Rowand to score the go-ahead run with ease.

Vogelsong (8-1), who turned 34 on Friday, was pulled after 104 pitches, having yielded two runs on seven hits and two walks, and the bullpen took the reins the rest of the way.

Santiago Casilla worked around two walks in the sixth, the only blemishes for any of the five Giants relievers.

Jeremy Affeldt hurled a perfect seventh, and Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez combined for a 1-2-3 eighth, striking out Braun and Prince Fielder, respectively, to end the frame.

Andres Torres knocked in an insurance run in the ninth, and Wilson made quick work of the visitors in his appearance to finish off the win.

Game Notes

Vogelsong has not lost since May 26 against Florida, his only setback of the season. His earned run average actually rose from 2.02 to 2.10…Despite dealing with a calf injury, Braun has homered in three of his last four games…The Giants came in hitting .228 with runners in scoring position but went 4-for-12 in the win…Brewers starting pitchers have produced 13 quality starts over the last 15 games…Wolf has lost his last four decisions.

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