MILWAUKEE — The new-look offense busted loose on Opening Day and the new No. 2 twirled a gem Tuesday. Jeff Samardzija couldn’t keep the good vibes going.
A day after Johnny Cueto dominated the Brewers, Samardzija didn’t make it through the sixth of a 4-3 loss. The right-hander, who signed for $90 million in December, was charged with three earned in 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and walking three.
It took Samardzija 14 pitches to get his first out, but he limited the damage in a rocky first inning. Samardzija walked the first batter he faced as a Giant, then gave up a pair of singles. He buckled down, though, getting a groundout and striking out Chris Carter and Ramon Flores. After blowing a 92 mph fastball past Flores, Samardzija emphatically pumped his fist.
It wasn’t until the fourth that Samardzija had a scoreless inning. He let three more runners on base in the second and Carter hit an oppo solo homer in the third.
The lineup kept pace, with Angel Pagan manufacturing a run in the first and Matt Duffy hitting a long solo home run in the second. Pagan tripled while leading off the sixth and scored on a deep fly ball by Buster Posey.
Samardzija had just one easy inning, and it wasn’t long before he ran into trouble when manager Bruce Bochy sent him back out for the sixth. After back-to-back one-out singles, Samardzija was pulled. Right-hander George Kontos entered and — after a walk — got an inning-ending double play.
The Brewers kept the pressure on and brought the go-ahead run across on Carter’s sac fly in the seventh. Joe Panik was stranded on third in the eighth and Jeremy Jeffress cruised through the ninth.
Starting pitching report: Samardzija surely would have preferred to make his debut elsewhere. He remains winless against the Brewers in 10 career starts, and he has allowed eight homers in 45 innings at Miller Park.
Bullpen report: Kontos stranded the first 26 runners he inherited last season, a streak that lasted until July 24. Samardzija owes Kontos a nice steak after the work he did ending the sixth.
At the plate: Duffy’s homer in the second inning was his second in three games and traveled 424 feet. It was the longest homer of the series for the Giants and the longest of Duffy’s career.
In the field: Aaron Hill made a basket catch as he ran away from the infield in the first inning, and he turned and threw a strike to the plate to nab Posey, who had tagged up from third. The more interesting defensive wrinkle may have been the Brewers shifting Posey with three infielders on the left side. Posey seems shift-proof, but he actually hit the overwhelming majority of his grounders last year to the left side.
Attendance: Not many. This is apparently a Giannis town now.
Up next: The home opener and a four-game series against the Dodgers. The marquee matchup is Saturday, when Madison Bumgarner faces Clayton Kershaw. Jake Peavy takes on Alex Wood in Game 1.