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SAN FRANCISCO -– Boosting your average in late August is harder than rearranging Stonehenge with a hand trowel.
All those at-bats make the numbers near impossible to budge. So you might have jolted upright if you looked at the scoreboard and noticed Buster Posey hitting .297 Friday night.
Five-hit binges make a dent any time of year. Posey had one of those against the Milwaukee Brewers, and he wasn’t the only one with a napkin tucked under his chin. The Giants pummeled 15-game winner Wily Peralta and kept the conga line going against Marco Estrada on their way to a 13-2 victory at AT&T Park.
Ryan Vogelsong wasn’t taking anything for granted, and seeing how he didn’t win his previous outing despite a 5-0 lead against Stephen Strasburg in Washington, could you blame him? He held the Brewers to two runs in seven innings and his batterymate led the offensive charge as the Giants won their fourth consecutive game for the first time since June 4-8.
Posey, who is 20 for 40 over his last nine games, went single-single-triple-single-single to register his second career five-hit game and the first by a Giant this season. Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt had five-hit games last year. Oddly, Barry Bonds never accomplished it as a Giant – maybe because he seldom saw five strikes in a game.
Speaking of Bonds, Gregor Blanco did a fair impression of him while drawing three walks and hitting a two-run home run. It was the kind of boxscore line the Giants often received from their left fielder a decade ago.
Angel Pagan finished a home run away from the cycle and Joe Panik quietly posted his second four-hit game of the season as the Giants finished with 19 knocks -– their most in a game at AT&T Park in 13 years. They rapped out 20 hits here on Aug. 14, 2001, vs. Florida.
Starting pitching report
Vogelsong (9-8) faced plenty of threats in the Brewers lineup but his biggest challenge might have been staying loose during lengthy home halves of innings.
The Giants gave Vogelsong a 3-0 lead, and have scored eight runs for him in the first inning over his past two starts. He gave one back when Jonathan Lucroy doubled high off the right field wall in the second inning and scored on a ground out.
But the Brewers managed just one more run, when Lyle Overbay hit a leadoff single in the fifth and scored in a sacrifice fly.
Vogelsong worked with Andrew Susac in the seventh inning and dispatched the Brewers quickly to end an efficient, 96-pitch night. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12 starts.
George Kontos pitched the final two innings. Perhaps Bruce Bochy really is saving Tim Lincecum for leveraged situations?
At the plate
The Giants benefited from some good BABIP in the first inning, when everything they hit found a hole against Peralta. A wild pitch and a hit batter helped their cause as they scored three runs in the first inning while sending eight batters to the plate.
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Vogelsong singled to start the second inning, Angel Pagan doubled and both scored when Posey and Pence hit singles. Pagan added an RBI single in the third.
Peralta threw 80 pitches in three innings. Estrada needed 74 pitches to go two more. And it’s true, 154 pitches in five innings does not make for a snappy pace.
After some Brewers sloppiness and walks led to two more runs in the fourth, the Giants led 8-2. They left nothing to chance, though, as Pagan and Posey tripled in the five-run fifth before Blanco launched his second shot in as many days. You couldn’t blame BABIP on those hits.
Posey must really like his new mask. He held onto it with his right hand while making a one-handed catch of a foul pop in the first inning.
With an official crowd of 41,348, the Giants extended their streak of announcing sellouts to 315 consecutive regular-season games.
The Giants and Brewers continue their three-game series at AT&T Park on Saturday. Jake Peavy (2-4, 3.18 ERA) takes the mound against Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers (4.1, 1.54). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.