A pair of disappointing clubs with last-place tags tangle Monday, as the San Francisco Giants take on the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a four-game series at AT&T Park.
The defending World Series champion Giants are back from their east coast swing and went 3-3 against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. The Rays won the last two tests of a three-game series, including Sunday's 4-3 triumph.
Jose Mijares allowed the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Giants starter Guillermo Moscoso lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
Brandon Crawford drove in two runs and Buster Posey ended 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Giants, losers in 10 of their last 14 games. Gregor Blanco was 0-for-3 from the leadoff spot and manager Bruce Bochy was not pleased.
"We're not getting any production from our leadoff hitters," Bochy said. "We're definitely going through a tough time."
Bochy could have a new leadoff man as soon as Monday, and possible candidates are Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro. Along with Blanco, Andres Torres is also struggling in the leadoff spot and both players are batting below .200 since the All-Star break.
Pence has hit safely in 14 of 16 games since the break.
The Giants are opening a seven-game homestand and will send Chad Gaudin versus Milwaukee. Gaudin is 5-1 in his last six decisions and defeated the Phillies in Wednesday's 9-2 victory, charged with just one run on four hits and a walk through seven innings. The effort lifted Gaudin's record to 5-2 in 27 games (9 starts) with a 2.64 ERA.
Gaudin, a right-hander, sports a 2-0 mark and a 7.30 ERA in 11 games (one start) lifetime against the Brewers.
After a quick stay at home, Milwaukee is back on the road and will kick off a nine-game road trip Monday against San Francisco, Seattle and Texas.
The Brewers ended a three-game slide and salvaged the finale of a three-game series versus the Washington Nationals with Sunday's 8-5 victory thanks to a solid bullpen and clutch hitting. Jeff Bianchi had three RBI and knocked in a pair of runs during a five-run sixth inning. Juan Francisco added two RBI and Logan Schafer went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
John Axford earned the win despite giving up a run in the sixth inning, while starter Kyle Lohse was tagged for three runs -- two earned -- on five hits over five innings.
"Kyle did a nice job of holding it down and letting us have a chance to catch up," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of his starter.
Roenicke hopes Tyler Thornburg can keep up his recent solid play when he toes the rubber Monday. Thornburg is 1-0 with a 2.22 earned run average in seven games (1 start) this season and delivered six scoreless frames in a 3-2 victory at the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Thornburg, a right-hander, will face San Francisco for the first time and the Brewers are 2-5 when he takes the mound.
Milwaukee registered a three-game sweep of San Francisco from April 16-18 at Miller Park and has won four straight in this series.