MILWAUKEE (AP) -- After a shaky first inning, Ryan Jensen got on
Jensen's pitching and Rich Aurilia's two-run homer helped the
San Francisco Giants open a two-game lead in the NL wild-card race
with a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. "I thought I was going to have another game where I went three
innings because of the pitch count,'' said Jensen, who threw 94
pitches. "I calmed myself down after (manager Dusty) Baker told me
to quit living pitch to pitch. He told me to go out there and throw
my game.'' San Francisco widened its wild-card lead over Los Angeles, which
lost 8-4 at San Diego. The Giants and Dodgers have eight games
remaining. Milwaukee (54-99) set a franchise record for losses. The
previous mark of 98 was set in 1969, when the team was Seattle
Pilots. After one season in Seattle, the franchise moved to
Milwaukee and became the Brewers. Jensen (12-8) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He
gave up three hits with two outs in the first, including an RBI
single to Matt Stairs. He escaped a bases-loaded jam when Jorge
Fabregas popped out, then retired his next 12 batters before a
leadoff walk to Keith Ginter in the sixth. After a one-out single to Richie Sexson, Aaron Fultz relieved
and retired Stairs on a grounder, then struck out Bill Hall. Jensen, who had four no-decisions since beating the New York
Mets on Aug. 8, and Jason Schmidt, Saturday's starter, traveled to
Milwaukee ahead of the team Thursday night, arriving at 9:30 p.m.
The team arrived at 6:15 a.m. Friday after losing in Los Angeles.
"I didn't hear anybody say they were tired. We got through it
and we won,'' Baker said.
Nick Neugebauer (1-7), making his fourth start since coming off
the disabled list Aug. 30, gave up four runs -- one earned -- six
hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings in losing his fifth straight
decision. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first when Reggie
Sanders grounded into an inning-ending double play, but San
Francisco got four runs -- three unearned -- to take a 4-1 lead in
the second. "It's a step back as far as results and not pitching longer
into the game, but it's the best I've felt since I came back,'' he
said. After J.T. Snow reached on a fielding error by second baseman
Eric Young, Yorvit Torrealbo tied it with an RBI double, Jensen
followed with an RBI single and Aurilia hit a two-run homer. "An error started it, but they did some hitting after that,''
Milwaukee manager Jerry Royster said. "We just didn't minimize
it.'' David Bell hit an RBI single in the fifth that scored Barry
Bonds, who had walked. Bonds was 0-for-3 with two walks, extending
his major league season record to 188. Milwaukee's Jose Hernandez, whose 188 strikeouts are one short
of the major league season record set by Bobby Bonds in 1970,
didn't start for the second straight game. Manager Jerry Royster it
had nothing to do with the record and that his All-Star shortstop
would play in several of the team's final nine games. "I don't have any Jose issues,'' Royster said. "He's got a lot
of games to go.''
San Francisco C Benito Santiago dropped his appeal of a
two-game suspension for bumping umpire Mark Hirschbeck last Sunday
and started his two-game suspension. ... Sexson hasn't had an RBI
in 11 games and remains at 99.