The San Francisco Giants were just a key hit or two from another victory on the road.
Instead, Wily Peralta became the first 14-game winner in the majors this season, earning his fifth straight victory and pitching the Milwaukee Brewers past the Giants 3-1 on Thursday.
The Giants, with the second-best road record in the majors, had their chances against Peralta, but left nine on base and were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
“It takes a timely hit,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after the Giants’ road record this season slipped to 33-23. “Today, we were missing it. We’ve been doing a good job at it this road trip.”
The loss also cost the Giants a chance at winning a series against a team with a winning record for the first time since taking three of four from St. Louis in May 29-June 1.
“We did create some pretty good opportunities,” Bochy said. “Just couldn’t get that timely hit today.”
Jake Peavy (0-3) is 0-12 in 18 outings since winning at Toronto while with Boston on April 25. He has lost five straight starts overall.
Peavy showed some hustle in the fifth. He struck out swinging, but when the ball skipped away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy, he raced to first on the wild pitch. Peavy didn’t even draw a throw and later scored on Hunter Pence’s single.
“I hadn’t been on base in quite a while,” Peavy said. “It felt good to get on base and be able to contribute, albeit a strikeout. I was able to get on for the top of the lineup to do some good things.”
Peavy gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings in his third start since being acquired from the Red Sox.
“He battled well today,” Bochy said. “He gave us a gutty effort. He kept us there in the game. Gave us a chance. That’s what you want from your starter.”
One of those missed chances was in the fifth.
With runners at first and second and no outs, Peralta struck out Buster Posey and then got Pablo Sandoval to hit into a double play.
“I was able to do that today,” Peralta said. “Posey and Sandoval, those are two great hitters. I was (able to) strike out Posey, and just trying to make Sandoval make contact and get a ground ball. I was able to find it.”
Peralta (14-6) struck out a career-high nine in 6 2-3 innings. He gave up seven hits and walked one.
Peralta had been tied for wins with four pitchers in the NL and two in the AL.
After escaping a first-inning jam, Peralta pitched effectively until the seventh. He left with two outs and two on, and Jeremy Jeffress retired Hunter Pence on a fly ball to preserve a 3-1 lead.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 34th save.
It was 1-all until the sixth. Aramis Ramirez doubled and scored on a ground-rule double by Khris Davis, whose soft liner down the right-field line was picked up by a fan. Davis came home on Mark Reynolds’ sacrifice fly to deep left.
Ryan Braun snapped a 0-for-12 skid with a RBI double in the Milwaukee first.
HEADACHE: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was held out of the game in a precautionary move, a day after leaving in the eighth inning. Belt said he wasn’t feeling well Thursday morning. The Giants activated Belt from the disabled list prior to Saturday’s game after he missed 12 games because of a concussion. He plans to see a doctor on Friday.
Giants: Outfielder Angel Pagan (back inflammation) was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game and got two hits. He missed 44 games while the Giants went 18-26 with him out of the lineup. Infielder Matt Duffy was optioned to Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Brewers: Second baseman Scooter Gennett was held out of the game in a precautionary move. He played Wednesday night after missing four of the last five games with quadriceps tightness.
Giants: San Francisco opens a series at Kansas City on Friday night, with Madison Bumgarner (13-8) starting against the Royals’ Jason Vargas.
Brewers: Right-hander Kyle Lohse (11-6, 3.40) starts at home on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.