The San Francisco Giants will turn to longtime Milwaukee Brewers nemesis Johnny Cueto on Sunday in the deciding game of a weekend series between the division leaders that has been as close as expected.
Left-hander Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.67 ERA) will start the home game for Milwaukee against right-hander Cueto (7-6, 3.83). Both the Giants and Brewers are 7-3 in their past 10 games.
San Francisco took the middle game of the three-game series 9-6 on Saturday night, scoring four runs in the 11th inning after each team scored three in the 10th. Milwaukee won the series opener 2-1 in 10 innings on Friday.
“It was definitely an emotional back-and-forth win,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Obviously, we came up with some really big hits.”
Brandon Belt, who came off the injured list Thursday, had two homers for the Giants, including a two-run shot in the 11th inning. San Francisco leads the majors with 167 home runs.
The Giants, who have the best record in baseball at 70-41, lead the National League West by four games over the Los Angeles Dodgers entering play Sunday. Milwaukee has a six-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Brewers are 20-7 against the NL West this season.
Cueto has been successful against the Brewers throughout his career, including his seven-plus seasons with Cincinnati in the same division. He is 11-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 22 starts vs. Milwaukee.
Anderson is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in his past four starts, allowing just three earned runs in 20 2/3 innings. He is 2-5 with a 4.57 ERA in 12 career starts against the Giants.
The Giants rallied to win Saturday after tying the game 2-2 with a run in the top of the ninth off Brent Suter when right fielder Avisail Garcia misplayed Tommy La Stella’s fly ball to the warning track for an RBI triple.
“That’s a really good lineup,” said Brandon Woodruff, who held the Giants to one run through six innings on Saturday. “Obviously, a lot of those guys have multiple World Series rings. There’s not a moment too big for any of those guys. They’ve seen it all.”
After starter Aaron Sanchez went just two-plus innings in his first start since coming off the injured list, the Giants used eight relievers Saturday.
“That was the toughest performance of the year for our club,” Kapler said. “I think our bullpen was selfless and kind of embodied what we’ve talked about, which is kind of being unselfish, understand when a team is going after a big win, picking each other up, and they all did that. They all stepped up and took the ball in big moments.”
Following Sunday’s game, the Brewers will head out on their longest trip of the season with 10 games in 11 days against the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
–Field Level Media