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SF@MIL: Melky's phenomenal throw saves an early run

MILWAUKEE -- It's premature to speculate which Giants should make the National League All-Star team. But if the subject must be raised, any discussion of San Francisco's top candidates for the Midsummer Classic should begin with Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey, who excelled in Tuesday night's 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Cabrera, who leads the Majors with 63 hits, went 1-for-3 and scored twice. More importantly, he stunned the Brewers with a remarkable first-inning throw from left field that retired Norichika Aoki at home plate.

Posey, who's batting .300, collected three RBIs and homered for the second consecutive game, ricocheting a Shaun Marcum pitch off the base of Miller Park's huge center-field scoreboard in the sixth inning. The clout, which traveled an estimated 438 feet, accounted for two runs and extended San Francisco's lead to 6-2. That proved essential when Milwaukee scored twice in the seventh inning.

The Giants (23-20) climbed three games above .500 for the first time this season with their eighth victory in 11 games overall. Suddenly, San Francisco is finding creative ways to win, a trait of truly successful ballclubs.

Milwaukee outhit the Giants, 11-5. Matt Cain (4-2) yielded all of the Brewers' hits, representing a career-high total -- as was the seven extra-base hits he allowed. But Cain performed stubbornly, permitting two hits in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

He received immediate help from Cabrera. After Aoki tripled to open Milwaukee's half of the first, Cabrera grabbed Nyjer Morgan's line-drive out and generated a throw with similar trajectory and velocity. It reached Posey on the fly and beat Aoki easily. Posey made the tag to complete a double play.

Members of both teams heaped praise upon Cabrera for his fifth outfield assist, matching the second-highest total in the Majors.

"In my mind, I'm thinking that's one run right there," Cain said. "I think that changed the momentum of the game right there in the first inning. I know it did for me."

Said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, "It's hard to make a better play than that."

"From where he was, to throw a ball that hard in the air, there's not too many guys that could make that play," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke echoed. "I don't know many other left fielders that have that kind of arm strength. That throw was pretty amazing. Plus, the way he got around the ball to make the throw, he did a nice job on that."

Posey also did a nice job, which is typical for him here. His .422 career batting average (19-for-45) against Milwaukee is sweetened by his numbers at Miller Park: a .500 average (12-for-24) with six home runs and 15 RBIs.

Posey struggled to explain his productivity at this yard.

"I see the ball well here and -- I don't know. No real great scientific explanation," he said.

Posey has six home runs this season, a total which would be higher if the dimensions of San Francisco's AT&T Park were friendlier to power hitters. Posey, who drove several balls to the distant gaps in the Giants' last homestand, managed a chuckle when he said of his latest smash, "I would like to think that one would go out at AT&T."

Posey has driven in six of San Francisco's 10 runs in this series and has six hits in his last 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position. When Posey's surging like this, opponents must pitch him with extreme caution to prevent him from victimizing them.

"With that guy, you really got to execute down," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "We really got to keep the ball down to him and see if he can get himself out."

The Brewers might get a break in Wednesday's series finale, since Bochy plans on resting Posey.

Considering Posey's Miller Park mastery, Bochy said, "I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to talk his way into the lineup."

Posey didn't rule this out, though he said, "We'll see how I feel [Wednesday]. I have to be smart, too, with four games in Miami and going back home."

Intriguing subplots also arose. Joaquin Arias delivered the first home run of his 135-game Major League career, a two-out, two-run drive in the fourth that widened the Giants' lead to 4-0.

"He has really saved us," Bochy said of Arias, who has become the Giants' primary third baseman in Pablo Sandoval's absence.

Second baseman Emmanuel Burriss caused consternation in the second inning when he failed to run out a popup that Lucroy caught in fair territory. Television cameras caught Bochy growling at Burriss when he returned to the dugout.

"He's better than that. That's what I told him," said Bochy, who later experienced dizziness and retreated to the clubhouse for treatment.

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