SAN FRANCISCO — Bruce Bochy shook up his lineup Monday night, but it didn't exactly shake up the scoreboard.
One change Bochy made, moving Hunter Pence to the No. 3 spot, paid intriguing dividends. The move turned Pence into a patient hitter, and it also wound up being the key that finally unlocked a 4-2 Giants victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.
Pence walked three times in the game, including leading off the eighth, and ultimately scored the tiebreaking run on Jeff Francoeur's pinch-hit, one-out single with the bases loaded in that inning. The Giants then added two more when Brewers third baseman Jeff Bianchi misplayed Joaquin Arias' grounder for an error.
Pence had only walked 26 times all season, has had just one two-walk game in 2013 and walked only three times the entire month of July.
Pence walked against Brewers reliever John Axford to start the eighth. After Buster Posey hit a deep fly out to center, Pence stole second, and on an intentional walk pitch to Pablo Sandoval, Axford threw high and wild over catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Pence advanced to third.
Brandon Belt drew a walk against left-hander Michael Gonzalez, and when Francoeur came up as a pinch-hitter, Milwaukee countered with right-hander Rob Woo-ten, but Francoeur looped a 2-0 pitch over shortstop to bring home Pence.
The extra runs that followed on the Bianchi error proved to be crucial. Sergio Romo came on to notch his 27th save in the ninth, but not before Juan Francisco hit a solo homer.
Santiago Casilla (5-2) got the win after pitching a scoreless eighth after starter Chad Gaudin pitched masterfully through the first six innings.
The new-look Giants had numerous chances early on to put runs on the board. Pence walked and stole second with two out in the first, but Posey struck out.
In the second, Sandoval and Belt opened with singles but that went nowhere. Roger Kieschnick hit a fly to center, Gregor Blanco struck out and Gaudin hit into a force out at third.
Pence walked again in the third with two out, and Posey followed with single to left, but Sandoval hit a lazy fly to left to end that threat.
Finally, thanks to the Brewers, the Giants put one on the board in the fourth but perhaps should have had more. Belt and Kieschnick opened with back-to-back singles. Blanco hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Francisco that may have been a double play, but Francisco threw low to second base and into left field, and Belt came around to score.
That turned out to be it for that inning. Gaudin and new leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro struck out, and Brandon Crawford lined out to center field.
Gaudin, however, was masterful through the first six, allowing just two hits, two walks and striking out seven. He gave up a one-out single to Jean Segura in the first, but Segura was cut down by Posey trying to steal. Milwaukee's biggest early threat came in the third when Scooter Gennett tripled with one out into the right-center field alley.
However, Brewers starter Tyler Thornburg completely missed a squeeze bunt attempt, and Gennett was hung up between third and home. Posey relayed to Sandoval, who ran Gennett down and tagged him out.