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What we learned as Giants open homestand with loss to Brewers

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USATSI

SAN FRANCISCO -- Corbin Burnes vs. Bullpen Game didn't end up being the mismatch that it seemed to be on paper, but the Giants still couldn't pull it out Monday night at Oracle Park.

Burnes was sharp and the Giants missed a golden opportunity to deliver the knockout blow against Milwaukee's bullpen, losing 3-1 in their return home. They have lost three of four and scored just one run over their last 18 innings. 

The Giants trailed 2-0 after two innings, a nightmare against Burnes, one of the leading Cy Young Award candidates in the National League. But their bullpen has been a strength all summer, and it kept them in the game. 

The end came quickly for Burnes. A Brandon Belt double and Kris Bryant single halted his outing in the seventh and Brandon Crawford immediately took advantage, bouncing an RBI single to right off Brad Boxberger. That was the end of the rally, though. Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson made quick outs and pinch-hitter Darin Ruf lined out to deep left. 

The Brewers got the run back against Dominic Leone, and Devin Williams and Josh Hader closed it out. Here are three more things to know: 

Burnes Notice

The Giants haven't had any luck against Walker Buehler, the league leader in ERA, and they had some ugly at-bats Monday against Burnes, who ranks second. He struck out nine in his six innings, allowing just four hits and the one run. In two starts against the Giants this year, Burnes has allowed two earned and eight hits in 13 innings. He would be very, very tough in a potential playoff matchup.

 

The real killer Monday was that Burnes matched the run he gave up by driving in a run. With a runner on second and out in the second, he lined a Jose Alvarez cutter into left to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. It was his eighth hit of the season. 

End Of The Streak

With Johnny Cueto under the weather, Alvarez kicked off the bullpen game. Alvarez had been the best Giants reliever over the last month or so, but he struggled in the new role, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks. The Brewers took the lead right away when Christian Yelich doubled and Omar Narvaez singled. 

Coming into the game, Alvarez had pitched 20 consecutive scoreless appearances. He allowed just six total hits and walked two during that streak. 

Midgame Hero

Jarlin Garcia took over at the top of the third and was so efficient that he ended up going 3 2/3 innings, keeping the Giants close as Burnes mowed them down. Garcia allowed just one hit and struck out four, lowering his ERA to 2.48.

The outing was Garcia's longest as a Giant and the first time he recorded more than nine outs since he was a starter for the Marlins in 2018.

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