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Crawford Hits Grand Slam In Debut, Giants Top Brewers

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Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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MILWAUKEE (CBS / AP) — Brandon Crawford hit a go-ahead grand slam in his first game as a big leaguer, helping Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 Friday night.

Lincecum (5-4) gave up three runs in seven innings. The Giants won despite the ejection of manager Bruce Bochy, who argued a close play at home plate in the fifth inning.

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With the Brewers trying to rally in the eighth, Giants catcher Eli Whiteside absorbed a big hit from Prince Fielder. It was reminiscent of the play that caused a serious injury to Buster Posey earlier this week, but Whiteside held on to end the inning and preserve the lead.

Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his 14th save, striking out Rickie Weeks to end a potential rally.

Weeks hit a two-run homer off Lincecum and Shaun Marcum (6-2) took the loss. Nyjer Morgan had a single and a double in his return from injury. But it wasn’t enough to give the Brewers what would have been a franchise record-tying 10th straight victory at home.

Until the seventh inning, it had been shaping up as another strong outing for Marcum, who has been the Brewers’ best starter so far this season. The Giants finally got to him in the sixth when Freddy Sanchez singled home a run.

A fan sitting in the front row near home plate then earned the crowd’s ire when he appeared to interfere with what could have been an inning-ending foul popup. The fan was off the hook after Marcum got Pat Burrell to fly out.

But Marcum got in trouble in the seventh, loading the bases.

Making his major league debut with a start at shortstop, Crafword came to the plate with the Giants trailing by two runs. He pounded a pitch from Marcum over the fence, giving the Giants a 5-3 lead with his first hit as a major leaguer.

The 24-year-old Crawford had his contract purchased from the Giants’ Class-A San Jose affiliate Thursday. He missed several weeks to start the season after breaking his finger in spring training.

It was a boost to Lincecum, who didn’t look quite as dominant Friday as he did in his last outing, a shutout against Oakland. Lincecum allowed six hits, striking out four with no walks.

Weeks’ homer came in the third, his ninth of the season.

Morgan scored on Weeks’ home run—then scored again in the fifth when Weeks hit a grounder and Morgan slid past Whiteside in a close play at the plate. Bochy came out to argue, and home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski threw him out.

Morgan was back in the lineup in his first day back with the team from injury, starting in center field and batting eighth. He had been on the disabled list since May 6 with a broken left middle finger.

NOTES: Giants general manager Brian Sabean said before the game that he wants baseball officials to consider rules changes to protect catchers at home plate. “It’s simple: You have to slide into other bases. Why shouldn’t you have to slide into home plate?,” Sabean said. … Brewers LHP Dan Merklinger cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Double-A Huntsville. OF Brandon Boggs accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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