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Loss to Brewers deals blow to Giants' playoff hopes

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- With time running out in the playoff race,
Moises Alou seemed to concede that the San Francisco Giants'
postseason hopes are all but over.

"I think everybody can look at themselves in the mirror and at
least say we tried," Alou said.

The Giants stumbled again with a 9-4 loss Thursday night to the
Milwaukee Brewers, who got a two-run homer and three RBI from
David Bell.

"The results aren't what we expect them to be, but we can't
hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves," said Alou, who
homered twice in the Giants' fifth loss in six games.

San Francisco began the night four games back in the NL West and
3½ behind in the wild-card race. The Giants have nine games left on
their schedule and could play a 10th if it becomes necessary to
make up a rainout against St. Louis.

Giants manager Felipe Alou wouldn't concede that his team is out
of contention.

"I don't want to get into that," Alou said. "You won't get me
to say anything. I know there are 10 games left."

San Francisco again had problems with its starting pitching.
Matt Morris (10-15) went 4 1/3 innings, giving up nine runs and
nine hits, unraveling in the fifth inning.

"I got to get my guy out of there either before or in the fifth
inning, three out of (the last) four," Alou said. "It's not a
pennant race."

The fourth was Matt Cain's start Tuesday, but he only lasted 5
1/3 innings in a 12-4 loss to Colorado. San Francisco starters are
0-5 with a 14.83 earned-run average in the last six games.

"Only speaking for myself, it's real disappointing to not be
able to come in, put up some zeros and give us a chance to win,"
Morris said.

Already trailing 4-2, Morris and reliever Jamey Wright combined
to walk six and give up two hits, including a two-run single by
Brewers starter Dave Bush, as Milwaukee sent 11 men to the plate in
its five-run fifth inning.

Morris walked Geoff Jenkins and Drew Anderson after recording
the first out, and Jenkins scored on an error by Steve Finley, who
let Bell's single skip by him in center field.

Morris intentionally walked Mike Rivera to load the bases and
Bush hit a chopper over third baseman Pedro Feliz to score two,
ending Morris' night.

Wright then walked the first three batters he faced to give the
Brewers a 9-2 lead before settling down and striking out the
inning's final two batters.

Morris, a former 22-game winner, also hit two batters and is now
1-2 with an 8.54 ERA in his last five starts.

"I've been so streaky, up and down, up and down," he said.
"More down than up, obviously. With a new team, it's been a
disappointment."

Bush (12-11) pitched 7 1/3 solid innings, giving up four runs
and five hits. He struck out five and walked one.

Bush is now 5-0 with a 3.26 ERA in his last five starts at
Miller Park and the Brewers, who had been averaging 3.28 runs in
their previous 25 games, posted their best offensive effort since
scoring 12 on Aug. 24, the day before they began a 10-game losing
skid.

Bush's only mistakes were a solo home run to Shea Hillenbrand in
the fourth and Alou's two big hits -- a solo homer in the fifth and
a two-run shot in the seventh that made it 9-4. It was Alou's first
multihomer game this season and 28th of his career.

"He gave up three homers and it didn't kill him," Brewers
manager Ned Yost said. "If Moises Alou wasn't in the lineup
tonight, it would have been a great game for him."

Game notes
Giants slugger Barry Bonds went 1-for-3 before leaving the
game for a pinch runner after his single in the seventh. ... Giants
C Eliezer Alfonzo (concussion) has been medically cleared to return
after being struck by a foul ball Tuesday night. Alou said he may
return to the lineup Friday. ... Anderson had his first major
league hit in the second inning of his first major league start.