(Sports Network) - The Giants have found the key to beating the Brewers; just hit it to the shortstop.
After taking the first two contests of this four-game series at Miller Park thanks in part to a pair of errors, San Francisco sends Tim Lincecum to the hill for tonight's game versus Milwaukee with the hopes that the two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner can avoid a third straight losing start.
The Giants have won back-to-back games for the first time since June 20-22 and seven of the 12 runs they have scored in the consecutive 6-1 victories have been unearned.
After Milwaukee shortstop Alcides Escobar botched a possible double-play ball on Monday that helped spark a four-run seventh inning for the Giants, his third error in two games, Craig Counsell replaced him at short last night but also threw away a possible double play in Tuesday's contest that led to four of the five runs the Giants scored in the sixth inning last night being unearned.
"We had a sixth inning there that I didn't see on the horizon," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "[Starter Randy] Wolf pitched five great innings, but then he walked the first two guys. We got the ground ball double play we wanted, but we didn't turn it."
Milwaukee's miscues helped San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner win his first MLB game in what was his fourth career start and third this season. The 20-year-old 10th overall pick of the 2007 draft hurled eight shutout innings and limited the Brewers to three hits and three walks.
"I got a beer shower, but honestly, it didn't feel that good because I felt I pitched better in my earlier starts," Bumgarner said. "It feels great to get my first win, but I just wanted to win a big game for the team."
Bumgarner also drove in a run and Travis Ishikawa added a two-run single for the Giants, who have won three of four since a seven-game slide and moved within six games of first-place San Diego in the NL West.
San Francisco, which split six games at Miller Park last year, has won five of its last six versus Milwaukee after dropping nine of 11 in the series and hopes that Lincecum can improve his 1-2 mark and 5.67 lifetime earned run average versus the Brewers.
The right-hander has had an up-and-down season so far as he strung together three winning starts after a four-game winless stretch (0-2), but has since lost consecutive starts and has allowed eight runs over nine innings.
Lincecum lasted just three frames versus Boston on June 27 and was then tagged for four runs on nine hits and four walks over six innings in a setback at Colorado on Friday. The 26-year-old has walked 46 batters in 109 2/3 innings this year after issuing 68 free passes in 225 1/3 innings last year. He is 8-4 on the season with a 3.28 ERA, including 3-1 with a 2.94 ERA in eight road starts.
Meanwhile, the Brewers have been outscored 19-3 over a three-game losing streak, with 12 of those runs allowed unearned. Also Corey Hart went 0-for-4 on Tuesday to end his 20-game hit streak.
Milwaukee will look to rebound tonight behind lefty Chris Narveson, who had a personal two-game win streak end on Friday after allowing four runs on seven hits over five innings of a 5-0 setback to the Cardinals. He has failed to pitch longer than five innings in three of his last four starts.
The 28-year-old is 7-5 with a 5.29 ERA this year and will make his first career start versus the Giants, who he has faced before in relief.