MILWAUKEE -- Barry Zito's stunning run of success came to a screeching halt in the third inning Tuesday, leaving a mess that even baseball's most resilient lineup couldn't clean up.
Zito didn't get through the third inning of a 10-8 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park, tying a career-high by giving up nine earned runs, eight of which came in the third. The scoring outburst wasn't enough to dishearten a Giants lineup that scored in four of the next six innings but fell short when Andres Torres' ninth-inning attempt at the game-tying homer died on the warning track for the last out.
"We don't ever really get down," said shortstop Brandon Crawford, who hit his second homer of the year. "We kind of showed our resilience last year, and carried it over."
In his first two starts, Zito had carried over a winning streak that started Aug. 7. That was the first of 16 consecutive Giants victories in games started by Zito, including three in the postseason.
"I can definitely appreciate the fact that the team really clicked on all cylinders when I was out on the mound," Zito said. "Where it mattered most certainly was in the playoffs, and that's something I'll always take pride in."
After one of the worst outings of his career, Zito said it was simply time to put the past in the past. The streak is history, and so was Tuesday's rough outing.
"I actually felt better today than I did my last couple of games," Zito said.
Both of those games included seven shutout innings from Zito, but his season-opening scoreless streak ended early when Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer in the second inning. Zito ran into immediate trouble in the third inning, loading the bases ahead of Ryan Braun. Zito struck out Braun, but Rickie Weeks followed with a two-run double. A single by Jonathan Lucroy scored two more, and the Brewers again loaded the bases.
Yuniesky Betancourt did what Braun couldn't, crushing a grand slam that put the Brewers up 9-3. Zito didn't regret the pitch to Betancourt, saying it was the same changeup that got a pop-up in the second inning.
"They got five hits in a row, and every one of them I'd throw again," Zito said. "I've just got to tip my hat. This is an odd game sometimes."
Manager Bruce Bochy said the same thing in his postgame news conference, pointing out that he never expected to have two starters (Zito and Matt Cain) give up at least eight runs in an inning through the season's first 14 games.
"It's not our norm, where we can't stop the big inning," Bochy said.
What is the norm is the lineup's ability to keep grinding, even when games seem out of hand.
Trailing 9-4 heading into the fifth, the Giants scored a run and loaded the bases with no outs ahead of Hunter Pence. But Pence lined out to short, and Brandon Belt hit a drive to left that was caught near the track as the Giants scored just twice in the inning. They scored another run in the sixth and had two runners on for Buster Posey, but he struck out.
Trailing 10-7 heading into the ninth, the Giants inched closer when Belt's third hit of the day drove in Posey. Torres hit a drive to deep right and thought he got enough of the ball to tie the game, but it ended up being just another hard-hit out on a night when the Giants piled them up.
"It's probably fitting how that game ended," Bochy said. "It was just a lot to overcome."
Right-hander Jean Machi was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and will join the team Wednesday. Bochy said right-hander Heath Hembree and left-hander Dan Runzler were considered.
"We decided to go with Machi," he said. "He's throwing the ball well. We really haven't had a good look at him up here. This spring, we liked the way he was throwing the ball. He'll get the first look."
Affeldt hurt his left oblique in 2010 and had a right oblique strain in 2004. According to the Giants media guide, the 2004 injury, similar to this one, put Affeldt out for nearly two months.
Bochy said it was too early to tell how long Affeldt would be sidelined.
Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 1-1) at Milwaukee (Kyle Lohse 0-1), 5:10 p.m. CSNBA