MILWAUKEE -- The Giants planned to lean on openers and "bulk innings guys" throughout Thursday's doubleheader at American Family Field, but in the third inning of the second game, it became a bullpen day for both sides.
Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta grimaced after throwing a pitch to Tommy La Stella and came out of the game after a meeting with trainers. He was taken out with shoulder fatigue, but the Giants couldn't take advantage.
They managed just four hits in a 4-2 loss and totaled seven across 18 innings. They got swept in the doubleheader and have now lost four straight, falling seven games under .500.
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He's Got Next?
Sean Hjelle was here to soak up innings, but he certainly made a strong case to stick around and slide into the rotation spot that opened up when Alex Wood went on the IL. Called up as the 29th man for the doubleheader, Hjelle came on in the first and got the Giants out of a jam, then cruised into the sixth.
San Francisco Giants
The big right-hander gave up three hits and one run while striking out six. He had his best stuff, topping out at 96.1 mph with his sinker and throwing the 13 hardest pitches of his big league career. Hjelle averaged 94.1 mph, an increase of 0.9 mph from his average in his first three big league appearances. He got eight swinging strikes, including four on a cutter that was particularly effective against Milwaukee's left-handers.
The Giants have been hesitant to push their Triple-A starters, noting that none of them were dominating. But Thursday's outing from Hjelle was intriguing enough that he should get another shot, and since he's already on the 40-man roster, it's a pretty easy move to make.
Alex Young's turn as the opener got off to a rough start. Young loaded the bases with no outs in the first but he made the pitch he needed, getting Hunter Renfroe to hit a bouncer to third. Evan Longoria would have had a great shot at a double play by either going home or to second, but the ball ticked off his glove and into left field, allowing two runs to score.
Young lasted two more batters, allowing a pair of fly balls to deep right that brought another run home. He was charged with three runs but only one of them was earned.
Hard To Find
La Stella didn't appear in the three-game series at Dodger Stadium and entered the doubleheader with just one game played in September. He wasn't in the lineup against righty Corbin Burnes in the first game, but did start at DH against righty Freddy Peralta. He didn't last long, though.
La Stella walked in his first plate appearance but was replaced by J.D. Davis in the fifth because there was a lefty reliever on the mound. The Giants may soon have to make a decision on a veteran who hasn't worked out as hoped, but is owed $11.5 million in 2023.