MILWAUKEE – Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run double in a six-run first inning, Jonathan Lucroy added a two-run homer in the second and the Milwaukee Brewers rocked Barry Zito again at Miller Park in an 8-5 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
Zito (3-2) allowed his first six batters to reach as Milwaukee batted around in a 40-pitch first inning. He wound up giving up eight runs — four earned — five hits and four walks in three innings. Zito dropped to 0-4 with a 7.67 ERA in eight starts at Miller Park and his ERA this year from 3.00 to 3.53.
Jose Veras (3-1) struck out three over two hitless innings in relief of Marco Estrada, who left after injuring his right hip while running out a first-inning double. John Axford pitched the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Veras, Francisco Rodriguez and Axford combined for four scoreless innings.
Zito walked Corey Hart leading off the bottom of the first, then threw high to first for an error on Norichika Aoki's sacrifice. Ramirez drove Zito's 14th pitch of the game to the left-center field wall for a 3-0 lead.
Lucroy reached when shortstop Brandon Crawford booted a hard grounder for San Francisco's major league-leading 46th error, and a walk to Weeks reloaded the bases.
After Carlos Gomez struck out, Cesar Izturis hit a run-scoring groundout. Estrada, who had been 0 for 8 at the plate this season, lined the ball down the left-field line for a two-run double and his first RBIs in 22 at-bats over five major league seasons. He jogged gingerly to second and, after meeting with trainers and manager Ron Roenicke, slowly walked off the field with an injury to his right hip flexor.
Hart then fouled out.
Aoki singled starting the second and scored with two outs on Lucroy's fifth home run of the year.
Lucroy also doubled, and is batting .417 (30-for-72) with three home runs and 21 RBIs in his last 20
Hector Sanchez had a three-run double in the third inning for San Francisco, which closed in the fourth when Brandon Crawford hit an RBI single and scored on Melky Cabrera's double. With runners on second and third, and two outs, Kameron Loe struck out Sanchez.
NOTES: Joaquin Arias had three singles for the Giants. ... Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval took 25 swings off a tee in Arizona on Wednesday and wrote on Twitter that he felt "no pain at all." Sandoval has been on the DL since May 3 with a fracture to his left hamate bone. ... Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin, assistant GM Gord Ash and Roenicke met before the game to discuss the roster. The team has struggled, but Roenicke said it was unlikely there will be a major shakeup soon. ... Giants C Buster Posey was out of the starting lineup for a day of rest, but pinch hit in the eighth and walked.