Two Brewers relievers and two Giants batters later, Jeff Francoeur delivered the bloop single that gave San Francisco a lead for good.
"Never done that before in my life," Axford said of his very wild pitch. "That ball, before I was even throwing it, was slipping out of my hand. I don't know. I tried to overcompensate in some way, and I just airmailed it."
Monday marked Axford's sixth straight outing in which he either allowed a run of his own or an inherited runner to score. His ERA, which was as high as 24.30 on April 9 and as low as 3.38 on July 24, is back up to 4.47.
"It's tough after all those great outings that I had, then to have this skid again," Axford said. "It's been constant for the last six outings and it's frustrating, it really is. Today, I guess the fact of the matter is I didn't get the job done. I tried to keep the ball down, and it was too down. Then I tried to get it back up, and it was too up. I just couldn't find it.
"At one point, I used to be dependable in the back end of the 'pen. That's where I want to be again. I want to be that guy who's depended on and can do the job, and I intend to be that guy again soon."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.