MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Sadowski collected three game balls, not one, to remember his first major league victory.
Sadowski kept his first major league pitch, first strikeout and first hit after pitching six scoreless innings in his debut, helping the San Francisco Giants avoid a three-game sweep with a 7-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday."I think the only one who wasn't surprised was me," Sadowski said. "I felt like I've gotten better throughout the year. I've pitched better in Fresno, I feel like I pitched better than my numbers were. I was very happy, but I wasn't shocked."Sadowski, who went 5-2 with a 4.11 ERA in Triple-A Fresno this year, hadn't even been in a major league park since 2006 before he took the mound Sunday, and that was only because he went to Chase Field in Phoenix to watch San Francisco while he was rehabbing from right shoulder surgery.During that time in Arizona, he was stuck with only a bicycle for transportation and bummed a ride to the ballpark."I don't know if I pedaled to the ballpark, that would be crazy, but I had quite a few bike rides that year," he said.Sadowski didn't need any help against the Brewers, who only got to him when Ryan Braun's line drive deflected off the pitcher's right leg in the sixth. The 26-year-old right-hander finished the inning, but did not return for the seventh."It probably won't sink in for a few days," he said. "The only thing sunk in right now is my leg, taking that liner off of it."Matt Downs hit his first major league homer and Nate Schierholtz tied a career-high with four hits, including a homer for the Giants, who snapped a six-game skid in Milwaukee after watching a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth crumble Saturday night."The shine from last night kind of wore off quickly today," Brewers manager Ken Macha said.With the shadows creeping across the infield, Sadowski (1-0) worked in and out of trouble and the Giants took advantage of Brewers starter Jeff Suppan's sudden struggles.Suppan (5-6) labored through a 43-pitch second inning that featured two walks and a hit batter. Edgar Renteria's ground-rule double with no outs scored the first run and it appeared Suppan would get out of it after striking out Sadowski with the bases loaded for the second out.But Suppan walked Randy Winn after an eight-pitch at-bat and Fred Lewis hit an infield single to put San Francisco up three."There were times in the [second] inning where I was trying to pitch situationally -- get a ground ball, get a ground ball," Suppan said. "As a pitcher, you try not to be too fine, but sometimes it does happen."In the fifth, Pablo Sandoval doubled to reach base safely for the 23rd consecutive game and came around to score on Travis Ishikawa's single to make it 4-0. Sandoval, who left in the sixth inning because of a minor stomach illness, also homered three times in this series.That set the stage for Downs, who hit Suppan's pitch deep to left field in the sixth to make it 5-0, a lead finally comfortable enough for the Giants not to squander here after losing 14 of the previous 16 in Miller Park. San Francisco also added a run in the eighth on a single by Winn before Schierholtz's homer in the ninth.Sadowski, who replaced Jonathan Sanchez in the rotation, collected his first major league hit in the fourth and was just as solid on the mound with his parents, his brother and his fiancee, Lindsay, all flying in to watch him."He looked very comfortable out there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He threw quality strikes. He had good movement on his fastball. He had breaking balls going. He did a great job, swung the bat. He did it all today."Milwaukee, shut out for the first time since April 18, hasn't been able to figure out fresh faces this year. The Brewers fell to 0-4 in games that featured pitchers making their major league debuts."We're hoping all the debuts are over with," Macha said. "We didn't really get many chances."
Sanchez pitched the ninth in his new relief role and hit Fielder with his first pitch. Fielder had raised his arms triumphantly after his game-winning hit on Saturday night, but Sanchez said afterward his pitch wasn't intentional. ... After giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday, Giants closer Brian Wilson was studying video of his pitch sequences before Sunday's game.