SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants got their offense going and were able to make up for Matt Cain’s tough start in his return from the disabled list.
Brandon Crawford drove in three runs and Albert Suarez pitched 3 2/3 solid innings of relief to help the Giants beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-5 on Monday night.
“We finally broke out, good job by the offense, because they kept coming back,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It was good to see some guys have some big games.”
Crawford’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning against Corey Knebel (0-1) broke a 4-4 tie, and he added a two-run single an inning later as the Giants won for the ninth time in their last 11 games at home. Gregor Blanco added a two-run single in San Francisco’s four-run seventh.
The Giants hit just .192 and averaged less than four runs in their previous 12 games.
“It’s always fun scoring runs,” Crawford said.
Suarez (2-1), the third of five Giants pitchers, allowed two runs and five hits.
Cain allowed three runs, five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings after missing his previous two starts with a right hamstring strain. He was pitching on the fourth anniversary of his perfect game against the Houston Astros.
“I think it’s fair to say he wasn’t as sharp as he was before he went on the DL,” Bochy said.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said the Brewers “kept climbing back into the game,” and made things difficult for Cain.
“We made it hard on him. He was struggling with his fastball, a little bit especially to the right-handed hitters,” Counsell said. “We were kind of one hit away, one call away from a different outcome. We got him out of there fast. But they just kept at it.”
The Giants scored two in the first inning on Denard Span’s leadoff homer and Brandon Belt’s run-scoring single. Milwaukee tied it in the third on three straight singles followed by two walks, all with two outs.
Buster Posey’s RBI double and Matt Duffy’s sacrifice fly in the third put the Giants back ahead.
Scooter Gennett had an RBI single in the fourth and Ramon Flores a run-scoring double in the sixth to tie it for the Brewers.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (right lateral strain) will come off the disabled list and make his season debut Tuesday in a start against the Giants. ... RHP Michael Blazek (right elbow) will make a rehab appearance Tuesday for AAA Colorado Springs.
Giants: OF Angel Pagan (left hamstring) made his third rehab appearance for AAA Sacramento on Monday night and is expected to come off the disabled list on Wednesday.
Much of the attention as the three-game series opened was on Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, who has been rumored to be headed via trade to teams including the Giants — who are missing injured outfielder Hunter Pence for about the next two months following hamstring surgery last Thursday. The Brewers are on a nine-game California swing against the Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.
“It seems regardless of which team we’re playing, that’s the team I’m getting traded to,” Braun told reporters before the game. “It started when we played the Angels, I was getting traded there. Then we played the Cubs and I was getting traded there, so I’m assuming by this weekend I’ll be getting traded to the Dodgers and not the Giants.”
Span’s home run, on the third pitch thrown by Brewers starter Chase Anderson, landed in McCovey Cove beyond the right-field wall. It was the first Splash Hit by a Giants player leading off a game. The Giants have now hit 70 homers into the cove since AT&T Park opened in 2000.
Brewers: Counsell wouldn’t say whether Garza will be on a pitch count Tuesday, but said “he threw 75 in his last rehab start, so we’ll take it from there.”
Giants: Madison Bumgarner (7-2) will put his personal six-game winning streak, which matches his career high, on the line.