MILWAUKEE (AP) — Early on, it looked like Jeff Samardzija was headed for yet another rocky night at Miller Park.
The Giants pitcher steadied himself quickly enough, though, and pitched San Francisco to a 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.
The right-hander entered 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in Milwaukee, but rebounded with a gem to get the win Monday. Samardzija allowed two runs in the first before dominating over 7 2/3 innings, retiring 19 consecutive batters in one stretch.
“For a big guy known as a power-type pitcher, he has remarkable command,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Samardzija’s split-finger fastball baffled batters throughout the game.
“It was effective,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “We didn’t do much against him.”
Aaron Hill had a tiebreaking, pinch-hit double with two outs in the eighth inning off reliever Rob Scahill (1-2).
Milwaukee’s first-inning runs came in an unusual fashion. With runners on second and third and one out, Hernan Perez lofted a fly to left. Eric Sogard tagged and scored when left fielder Orlando Calixte’s throw sailed high over catcher Buster Posey and caromed off the wall behind home plate. The ball hit the screen and dropped behind a padded message board and out of play, allowing another run to score.
“I’ve never seen a ball sneak back there like that,” Counsell said.
San Francisco cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth on Joe Panik’s run-scoring single. The Giants tied the score an inning later on Eduardo Nunez’s home run.
San Francisco added three runs in the ninth, aided by a dropped fly ball by Milwaukee center fielder Brett Phillips, who was playing his first major league game.
Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra, who turned in back-to-back strong starts after coming off the disabled list late last month, struggled with his command. He gave up seven hits and two runs (one earned) in five innings. He had two strikeouts and three walks.
Samardzija threw 82 of his 119 pitches for strikes. He struck out 10 batters and didn’t issue a walk. Over his last seven starts, Samardzija has 59 strikeouts and one walk. He credited pitching coach Dave Righetti for improving his mechanics.
“I’m a pretty excitable guy and I like to throw hard but it takes some time to learn that you have to get your body in the right position to throw hard with action and where you want it,” Samardzija said.
Giants: OF Hunter Pence, who entered the game in the seventh inning on Sunday after being activated from the disabled list, returned to the starting lineup. “Hopefully, he’ll make us a little bit more consistent offensively,” Bochy said. … Posey fell hard after tripping over first base in the eighth but got to his feet immediately and remained in the game.
Giants: Matt Cain (3-4) is 3-8 with a 5.01 ERA in 13 career starts against Milwaukee.