The Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t overcome an ineffective Yovani Gallardo Wednesday night, losing to the San Francisco Giants 7-4 at Miller Park.
But the Brewers (62-52) held onto their one-game lead in the National League Central race thanks to the Boston Red Sox beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1.
Gallardo (6-6) was the victim of some bad pitches and some bad luck, surrendering three runs in the top of the first.
Pablo Sandoval drove in the first run with a single to left field and, with two outs, Michael Morse grounded a seeing-eye single up the middle that brought home two more tallies for San Francisco (62-52).
The Giants took a 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth, stringing together hits by Buster Posey, Sandoval and Morse.
The Brewers got to reliever Juan Gutierrez, though, in the seventh.
Ryan Braun hit a grounder to shortstop and Weeks was gunned down at the plate by Brandon Crawford for the second out. After Gomez and Braun executed a double steal, Aramis Ramirez singled to left to bring in both runners, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
The Brewers bullpen, however, couldn’t keep it close. Brandon Kintzler came on and gave up three straight hits, with an RBI single by Joe Panik extending the San Francisco lead to 5-3. Tom Gorzelanny came on with two outs to turn Sandoval around to the right side, and the Kung Fu Panda responded with a line shot to left-center field for his 14th home run of the year.
Davis hit his 18th home run of the season off Giants closer Santiago Casilla to lead off the ninth, but Casilla put the Crew down in order from there to end it.
Gallardo struggled, allowing four runs on nine hits with four walks in just four innings, striking out four. Marco Estrada gave the Crew three terrific innings of relief, allowing just one hit and fanning three.
Kintzler was charged with two runs on three hits while retiring two in the eighth and Gorzelanny surrendered a run on Sandoval’s homer, striking out two and walking one before Rob Wooten came on to get the final out of the ninth.
The Brewers had their chances with 13 hits, but stranded 10 runners and were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Jean Segura went 3-for-4, Scooter Gennett—back in the lineup after missing two straight games with a sore quad—was 2-for-4 and Ramirez and Gomez each went 2-for-5.
Sandoval was 3-for-5 with three RBI for the Giants.
Milwaukee sends Wily Peralta (13-6, 3.52 ERA) to the mound at 1:10 p.m. Thursday in the rubber game of the series. He will face right-hander Jake Peavy, who is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts since being acquired from the Boston Red Sox on July 26.