SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Carlos Gomez lost his grip on the bat not once or twice but three times Tuesday night, sending two of them into the stands.
Given that he also hit a timely home run off Matt Cain in Milwaukee's 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants, Gomez became unpopular in a hurry with the 41,426 in the sellout crowd at AT&T Park.
So, he tried to make amends — by blowing a kiss.
"'The best I can do is give you a little kiss,'" he recalled saying, "and they were like screaming."
Gomez homered and Wily Peralta outdueled Cain to end a three-start winless stretch for the Brewers.
Gomez hit his 18th homer in the second as the Brewers jumped on Cain (7-7) early. Jonathan Lucroy added a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.
Aside from the slippery bat, Gomez didn't seem affected by a switch in his equipment.
"It's a little cold and they don't have the pine tar I like, the pine tar that I have a good grip with," he said. "And I used a maple bat. I don't use a lot of maple bats. I always use ash. Ash has better grip. But I feel like my ash bat is a little heavy and I swing a light bat today. Always slipping. I was scared. Those fans started getting crazy."
Cain was handed his first loss since the All-Star break. The right-hander had been 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the second half, and certainly would have left with a win in this one if the Giants had made good on even one of their missed opportunities.
Brandon Crawford doubled to start the eighth but the Giants failed to bring him home for what would have been the tying run.
Peralta (8-11) struck out six of nine batters during an early sequence and finished with six Ks in 6 1-3 innings for his first career victory against the Giants.
"I needed an outing like that. I was struggling the last two," Peralta said. "I've been more comfortable because I've been working in the bullpen and I've been throwing (off-speed pitches) for a strike when I need to."
Cain allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out six and didn't walk a batter for the fifth time this year — but it wasn't enough with little help from a stagnant offense.
The struggling defending World Series champions are 2 for 22 (.090) with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series. Pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias drove in a run on a groundout in the seventh as San Francisco avoided being shut out.
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