San Francisco suffers fourth loss in five games

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Before the game, new owner Mark Attanasio reminded everyone that it's far too early to give up on his Milwaukee Brewers.

Then Victor Santos got the good times started with the best outing of his career.

Santos pitched a five-hitter for his first complete game, Junior Spivey hit a two-run homer and the Brewers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.

Jeff Cirillo hit a two-run double for the Brewers, and Santos (1-0) was finally rewarded for his outstanding start to the regular season after an up-and-down spring. He shut down the Giants with a potent mix of pitches, striking out four and not walking a batter while reducing his ERA to 1.64.

"Before the game, I was thinking that we've got to turn this around," said Santos, who believes he only had unimpressive spring numbers because he skipped winter ball. "I've got to go out there and do my part to get us a win. ... Luckily, I had all my pitches tonight, and I was able to hit all my spots."

Though Santos needed little run support in a commanding performance, Brewers manager Ned Yost got strong results after shuffling his lineup. He moved catcher Damian Miller to the No. 2 spot, bumped Spivey down to sixth and swapped positions for regular No. 5 hitter Geoff Jenkins and No. 3 Lyle Overbay.

"It was a complete game for us: great pitching, timely hitting and good defense," Yost said. "We haven't been that far off, and it was good to put it together."

Attanasio, who traveled up from his Los Angeles home for the series opener, preached patience with his new team despite the losing skid. The Brewers began the season 5-3 before the week-long slump, but they excelled in every aspect in front of their new boss.

"I like the fact that Ned is taking a step back and making some constructive moves," Attanasio said. "I'm not making any snap, reactive judgments to what's going on on the field."

Pedro Feliz tripled and scored for the Giants, who lost for the fourth time in five games with another weak offensive output. San Francisco has scored just 10 runs in those five games, six in the four losses.

"We just can't put it all together right now," said Mike Matheny, who doubled. "We all realize we're better than we're playing, but talk is cheap."

Kirk Rueter (0-2) pitched into the eighth inning but lost to Milwaukee for just the second time in his career. The Brewers hadn't beaten the longtime San Francisco starter since June 22,
1999, but he allowed seven hits and four walks while getting into two late-inning jams.

Rueter warmed up in the bullpen Thursday night during the final moments of San Francisco's 13-inning win over Arizona, which exhausted the Giants' bullpen.

"After what happened last night, you just want to go out and go as far as you can," he said. "I'm not worried. We've got a bunch of great pros out here, and they're going to get it together. When we get all the guys back and healthy, we'll be fine."

Spivey followed Overbay's one-out single in the second with a homer to left-center, snapping a personal 0-for-14 slump. Cirillo then doubled and scored on J.J. Hardy's single, but Rueter retired
nine of Milwaukee's next 10 hitters.

Carlos Lee had a run-scoring single before Jeff Cirillo's double to right in the eighth.

Moises Alou went 0-for-3 in his first game since going on the disabled list April 8 with a strained right calf. He's still looking for his first hit with the Giants -- and though he made an
impressive sliding catch in the fifth, the right fielder misplayed two balls to aid Milwaukee's rally in the eighth.

Game notes
Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets spent another night in a Houston hospital recovering from an inflamed nerve in his inner ear. The Brewers still hope Sheets can make his next start Monday in St. Louis. ... The Giants designated outfielder Tony Torcato for assignment to make room for Alou. Torcato was disappointed to learn he'll probably leave the organization that drafted him in 1998. "I just didn't get a chance," Torcato said. ... Barry Bonds was on crutches when he made a brief appearance at the park, but the slugger refused to give an update on his recovery from right knee surgery.