The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Brewers falter on road, lose 15-5 and swept by Giants, drop into 1st-place tie in NL Central
SAN FRANCISCO - The Milwaukee Brewers have rarely been dominated the way they were this weekend in San Francisco. They have been atop the NL Central since early April.
Now manager Ron Roenicke must get his players to regroup in a hurry as the September stretch run begins.
Kyle Lohse was hit hard in 5 2-3 innings, and the Brewers lost 15-5 to the Giants on Sunday to complete a lopsided three-game sweep.
"It was a bad series. We didn't do anything well," Roenicke said. "We didn't pitch well, we didn't play defence and we didn't swing the bat. It happens. You're not going to go through a whole season with a bad series. Every time we made a mistake they capitalized.
"We're still OK. We can turn this thing around in a hurry."
The Brewers lost their season-high fifth straight road game and dropped into a tie for the NL Central lead with St. Louis. It's the first time since July 20 that they don't have sole possession of the division lead.
Milwaukee has held at least a share of the lead every day since April 5. The 15 runs allowed matched a season high.
Martin Maldonado and Ryan Braun homered, but the Brewers were swept at AT&T Park for the first time since Aug. 24-26, 2007. Milwaukee was outscored 31-8 in the series.
Lohse (12-8) allowed seven runs and nine hits for his fourth defeat in five decisions.
"I'll make it simple: It was terrible execution and I didn't do much else," Lohse said. "It's one of those series you have to turn the page quick."
Madison Bumgarner (16-9) followed up his one-hit gem Tuesday against Colorado with seven strikeouts in six innings to win his third straight start. The left-hander finished August at 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA, helping San Francisco stay close at 2 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pablo Sandoval had three hits, including a two-run homer, and three RBIs for San Francisco. Hunter Pence went 4 for 5, extending his NL-leading hitting streak to 13 games.
The Brewers briefly took a lead in the first when Braun grounded into a run-scoring double play. Bumgarner was unscathed otherwise, allowing five hits with one walk.
The Brewers return to familiar territory in the NL Central this week, including a four-game home series with the Cardinals.
"It's tough being on the West Coast and playing in ballparks you don't play in that much, but we're heading back and playing the Central Division pretty much the rest of the way," slugger Mark Reynolds said. "Pitchers we're familiar with, ballparks we're familiar with. We just need to keep playing good baseball."
Brewers: Leadoff man and CF Carlos Gomez left in the third with left wrist soreness. X-rays were negative but he's doubtful for Monday's game against the Cubs. "Right now it's a little sore, but it's been sore the past couple of days and it's been worse in the past," said Gomez, who felt it on a follow-through while hitting. ... The Brewers will welcome Jonathan Broxton on Monday in Chicago after acquiring the right-handed reliever Sunday from the Reds to serve as an experienced setup man for the stretch run.
Giants: C Buster Posey got the afternoon off, a day after he took a foul tip off the right forearm and also a couple of others Saturday night.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (2-5, 4.10 ERA) pitches the series opener against the Cubs. He is looking to snap an 0-3 stretch over his last four starts.
Giants: San Francisco will resume its suspended May 22 game with the Rockies at Coors Field, using a new pitcher and lineup because rosters changed for both clubs since that day. The teams will have expanded rosters available, and manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't say who will pitch first. The game, suspended by weather, is tied 2-all with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth.
"That first game is going to get intriguing," Bochy said.
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