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Zito, Giants appreciate just-ended winning streak

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MILWAUKEE -- Following his Tuesday performance, in which Barry Zito's run of 11 straight victories (counting the posteason) came to an unceremonious end, the left-hander had an immediate chance to reflect on the achievement.

The Giants had won 16 straight Zito starts prior to Tuesday's setback, with his last loss Aug. 2, 2012.

"I can definitely appreciate the fact that the team was really clicking on all cylinders when I was on the mound," Zito said. "I definitely had my share of tough games in that streak and then I had my share of games where I felt pretty good and held down the opposition to a few runs. What mattered most certainly was in the playoffs, and that's something I'll always take pride in."

Zito won two of his three starts in the posteason, including games in the World Series and National League Championship Series. The Giants ultimately won his start in the NL Division Series as well.

He recorded 10 quality starts in his 16 outings during the stretch, including eight of his last 10. The only two hiccups in that string included one start in which he came out one-third of an inning away from a quality start with two runs allowed and the NLDS appearance in which he was removed in the third inning of an elimination game -- though the Giants led at the time, 3-2.

On Tuesday, an eight-run third inning for the Brewers put the Giants in a six-run hole, one they couldn't quite claw out of in a 10-8 loss.

"It is tremendous what he did on this winning streak that he was on," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It took a big inning to stop it. He felt like he made some pretty good pitches, and I think he broke a couple bats in that inning, too, so that kind of compounded the damage. We've had a few [big innings allowed] in the early go here. That's not our norm."

To date, the Giants have permitted six innings of four runs or more this season, including a nine-run fourth by St. Louis on April 7 and the eight-run third by Milwaukee on Tuesday. The Giants' high for runs allowed in an inning in 2012 was seven. All told, the team allowed 25 innings of four runs or more in 2012, plus two more in the postseason.

JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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