SAN FRANCISCO -- The game of baseball polices itself and vigilante justice was served in the Giants' 4-2 victory Wednesday at AT&T Park. Madison Bumgarner didn't wait to take care of business, as he threw at Jesus Guzman in his first plate appearance, missing inside and prompting the Giants and Padres benches to clear.
The bad blood stemmed from Guzman's over-the-top theatrics following his eighth-inning go-ahead home run on Tuesday night. After being thrown at, Guzman pointed his bat, Bumgarner swelled up and approached the plate, and nothing major occurred as the teams exchanged heated words.
After the dust cleared, Bumgarner and Guzman finished their duel as if nothing happened. Guzman flew out to left field. Both benches were warned and business continued as usual.
Later, Guzman almost got the last laugh when he gave the Padres a 2-1 lead with a go-ahead solo home run off Bumgarner in the seventh inning. The former Giants prospect offered a much more subdued celebration in the form of a fist pump as he trotted the bases.
The Giants offense responded by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning en route to a series-winning victory over the Padres.
Starting Pitching Report
Bumgarner was effective against the Padres lineup but made two mistakes that left the yard. Two of the three hits he allowed were home runs. In addition to Guzman's seventh inning homer, Will Venable gave the Padres an early lead in the third inning when he hit a 1-0 slider into the arcade in right field. Had it gone any further, it would have hit the Oracle Racing sailboat that was stationed in McCovey Cove for a pregame America's Cup ceremony.
Bumgarner had no trouble, however, dispatching Kyle Blanks, one of the hottest hitters in the Padres' lineup. Blanks struck out in all three of his at-bats against the Giants' starting pitcher.
Despite departing with his team trailing, Bumgarner ended up improving to 7-4 on the season thanks to the Giants' seventh-inning rally. He finished with seven innings pitched, four walks and eight strikeouts.
Jake Dunning fired a scoreless eighth inning, bridging the gap to closer Sergio Romo, who earned his 18th save. Giants fans may have cheered louder when Romo struck out Guzman on three pitches, than when he recorded the final out of the game.
At the Plate
The Giants fell behind early, but managed to have a quick answer for each of San Diego's runs scored.
In the fourth inning, Hunter Pence was on first base when Joaquin Arias extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single. With runners on the corners, Brandon Belt engaged Padres starter Eric Stultz in a nine-pitch at-bat that ended in a game-tying RBI single. Blanks nearly robbed Belt, but couldn't come up with the ball when he attempted to make a sliding catch near the foul line in left field.
A bit of managerial maneuvering led to a big seventh inning for the Giants. After a one-out single by Tony Abreu, Bruce Bochy pinch-hit Hector Sanchez for Bumgarner. With the switch-hitting Sanchez at the plate, Padres manager Bud Black tried to counter by putting in right-handed pitcher Luke Gregerson.
Sanchez responded with a single and he was lifted for pinch-runner Brandon Crawford. Bochy continued pulling the right strings when he sent Gregor Blanco, a left-handed hitter, to the plate instead of Andres Torres, who is a switch-hitter, but 1 for 9 in his career vs. Gregerson. Blanco hit a two-run go-ahead triple to make it a 3-2 game and he scored moments later on a Marco Scutaro single.
In the Field
Crawford was held out of the starting lineup with two sprained fingers, but was used as a pinch runner in the seventh inning. That has to be an encouraging sign for the Giants shortstop. He is considered day-to-day, but Bochy said it is doubtful Crawford starts on Thursday.
The Giants announced an attendance of 41,866. It was the Giants' 200th consecutive sellout.
The Giants welcome in baseball's worst team record-wise, the Miami Marlins. Chad Gaudin (2-1, 2.83 ERA) will be on the hill for the Giants. He will be opposed by right-handed pitcher Tom Koehler (0-5, 5.09 ERA).