Aguilar stands tall in middle of Brewers’ lineup

Four months ago, Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell was trying to figure out how to fit Jesus Aguilar onto his roster. Now, Counsell is having a hard time taking the hard-hitting first baseman out of his starting lineup.

Aguilar has been Milwaukee’s hottest hitter over the last month, batting .283 with 12 home runs, 34 RBI and a .964 OPS. Five of those home runs along with 12 RBI have come over his last five games and he’s driven in multiple runs in five straight starts, tying a franchise record.

He’s certainly been one of the most pleasant surprises (this year), Counsell said. He was last year, as well and he’s taken it up a notch this year. You need those kind of performances you weren’t expecting. You need that kind of stuff.

Thames, who’s spent the majority of his playing time in the outfield since returning June 11, is still adjusting to the position but is happy for his teammate.

I mean, hey, the team is winning, Thames said. It was the same thing for him the first half of last year when I was going off. It’s great because we’re winning and today, he pretty much did it himself and it was awesome. I’m happy for him. He works hard. He’s such a smart hitter, smart player. He’s a great team guy so you can’t help but root for him.

Bumgarner pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for his first win this season, Mark Melancon earned his first save in a year and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 3-0.

Bumgarner’s sacrifice fly scored Pablo Sandoval in the fifth. Sandoval singled leading off the inning and Joe Panik followed with a double.

It was the fourth time in his career Bumgarner made a scoreless start and had the game-winning RBI, tying Stephen Strasburg and Fernando Valenzuela for the most such games by any pitcher in the last 40 years, according to STATS.

The Padres’ best scoring chance came in the fifth, when Jose Pirela was thrown out at home trying to score from second on Manuel Margot’s one-out double to deep right field. Giants catcher Buster Posey tagged out Pirela after a perfect relay from Andrew McCutchen and Panik.

Bryce Harper led off the eighth with a double off Mychal Givens (0-4) and Trea Turner followed with a single. After Anthony Rendon struck out, Soto hit a liner into the gap in left-center.

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