Crawford homers, but bullpen falters in Giants’ loss

AT&T PARK — Brandon Crawford put a home run in the right-field arcade, but the bullpen couldn’t protect a lead in the San Francisco Giants 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

Albert Suarez was on the mound in the top of the seventh when the Brewers scored what proved to be the winning runs.

Entering the frame clinging to a 3-2 advantage, the tying run came across the plate via a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. The guests pulled ahead on a Travis Shaw double into the visiting bullpen down the right-field line.

When starter Jeff Samardzija was asked if he wished he’d still be in the mound for that decisive inning, the right-hander said it was his hitting — not his pitching — that had sealed his fate.

“Maybe if I had been able to handle the bat a little bit better, maybe I would have been out there in the [seventh],” Samardzija explained. “So, I had a couple of opportunities with the bases loaded and I didn’t contribute at all which obviously keep the game closer than what it should have been.”

Following the theme of the past week, Crawford delivered a big hit and continued his impressive homestand, booming a two-run into the seats atop the brick archways in Triples Alley.

With that blast, Crawford is hitting .400 (8-for-20) in six games since returning to Third and King.

The fifth-inning drive traveled 414 feet, leaving the shortstop’s bat at an exit velocity of 105 mph. Home run No. 11 turned what had been a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead.

The Giants grabbed their first run courtesy of a Gorkys Hernandez infield single in the second. The reserve, who was subbing for Hunter Pence (tight left hamstring), was also responsible for the Brewers briefly claiming a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

The unearned run would be the final damage off Samardzija, who worked six innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a couple of walks.

The right-hander totaled four strikeouts but was denied a fifth win in six outings. Samardzija also worked at least six innings for the 22nd time in 26 starts.

“That’s the plan,” Samardzija said. “I like to think of myself as an old school guy and when I came up in the game, it was a starter’s game [and you] threw 115, 120 pitches and that determined the outcome.”

Pablo’s strong homestand rolls on

A night after taking a pitch to his left forearm, Pablo Sandoval collected a pair of singles, pushing his average to .363 (8-for-22) on the homestand.

Cueto throws 3 scoreless innings

Johnny Cueto delivered three shutout innings on Tuesday night for Triple-A Sacramento. The right-hander allowed three hits and recorded one strikeout while throwing 47 pitches.

Joe Panik, making his first rehab appearance, was 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Panik will continue his minor league stint with the High-A San Jose Giants on Wednesday.

Karl Buscheck

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