MILWAUKEE -- It came down to the final inning from their No. 5 starter, but the Giants finally did it Saturday.
They scored a run while their starting pitcher was still in the game.
Until their two-run rally in the sixth inning, the Giants hadn't pushed across any support for Barry Zito, Matt Cain, spot starter Merkin Valdez, Jonathan Sanchez or Kevin Correia. After one turn through their rotation, the Giants have been outscored 9-0 over the first four innings. During the first five innings, they have been outscored 16-1.
They tried to be comeback kids against the Milwaukee bullpen but made just enough mistakes and suffered just enough poor luck to lose, 5-4, at Miller Park.
The Giants clinched a losing record on their first trip this season and must win today behind Zito to avoid a sweep in Milwaukee.
They will be without cleanup hitter Bengie Molina, whom Bochy plans to rest. They also won't have Aaron Rowand, who didn't play Saturday and has been ruled out for today's game because of a bruised rib cage.
So who's left to face Brewers ace Ben Sheets? Ray Durham, for starters. He hit a solo home run and a run-scoring single and would have plated another run in the second inning if not for first baseman Prince Fielder's surprising hang time while snagging a line drive.
The Giants also have Eugenio Velez, who has won a consistent place in the lineup, if not an everyday position. Bochy started Velez in left field and plans to put him there often in order to inject his dynamic presence.
"Yeah, he'll get a lot of playing time," Bochy said. "A lot." Velez made an impact Saturday, breaking up Manny Parra's no-hit bid when he led off the sixth inning with a triple.
The Giants rallied to within a run three times but couldn't push ahead. Their most promising rally came in the seventh, but Brian Bocock was picked off first base to limit the opportunity. The rookie slapped his hand in the dirt after he was tagged out.
Like any house being remodeled, the Giants will have to put up with some dust and noise as they field younger players. Bochy didn't let Bocock's mistake detract from an otherwise fine game in which he walked twice, hit a single and stole two bases.
"I don't want him to back off," Bochy said. "He's a quick learner, too. He'll figure it out. He's doing too many good things.
"We may get picked off, but we can't back off."