Giants seek support for Bumgarner vs. D'backs

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Giants seek support for Bumgarner vs. D'backs

June 15, 2011

GIANTS (38-29) vs.
ARIZONA (37-31)

Coverage begins at 6 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

ARIZONA (AP) -- After showing some offensive life to win the opener of a key road series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Francisco Giants hope to provide Madison Bumgarner with some rare support in their next contest.

Bumgarner looks to avoid a third straight losing start and help the NL West-leading Giants beat the Diamondbacks for a fifth consecutive time Wednesday night.

San Francisco (38-29) had scored more than five runs only once in its previous 10 games, but won 6-5 at Arizona on Tuesday to increase its lead to 1 12 games over the Diamondbacks (37-31). The Giants improved to 6-1 in the season series, and have won each of the last four meetings by one run.

REWIND: Giants hold off D-Backs, preserve win for Cain

"Doesn't matter the team, we usually play tight games," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We don't have too many games that get out of hand either way."

San Francisco has scored at least five runs in each of its games this season at Chase Field, where it has gone 3-1 this year and has won nine of 11.

The Giants hope to give similar support to Bumgarner (2-8, 3.23 ERA), who has gotten either one run or none from the offense in seven of his starts. The right-hander limited Cincinnati to one run over seven innings Thursday, but wound up on the losing end of a 3-0 score.

RELATED: Madison Bumgarner 2011 game logs

It was the third time this season the Giants got shut out with Bumgarner on the mound

"He knows he (does) all he can do to win a ballgame," Bochy said. "We just have to get this figured out. It's gone on longer than even I thought it would."

Bumgarner has received an average 5.88 runs of support while going 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four career starts versus Arizona. His worst of those outings came April 17, when he allowed four runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-5, 12-inning loss at Chase Field.

Cody Ross had a two-run double and scored on a double steal as the Giants took a 5-0 lead Tuesday, then needed to hold on late. Ross is 5 for 15 with three RBIs in four games against the Diamondbacks this season.

Teammate Pablo Sandoval was 1 for 4 with an RBI in his first game after missing 1 12 months with a broken hand. Sandoval is batting .366 with 19 RBIs in 24 career games at Arizona.

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Joe Saunders (3-6, 4.56) takes the ball for the Diamondbacks looking to bounce back after he allowed five runs on three homers in six innings of a 6-4 loss at Florida on Friday.

The left-hander had been 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"He made some mistakes, they pounded him, it's going to happen from time to time," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Saunders was not much better in his only career appearance against San Francisco on April 16, giving up five runs and 12 hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-3 home loss.

Catcher Miguel Montero hit a three-run homer Tuesday for the Diamondbacks, who have still won four of six. Montero is 9 for 22 with two home runs, five doubles and nine RBIs in his last five games, but is 0 for 7 lifetime versus Bumgarner.

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

SAN FRANCISCO — Three years ago, the Giants and Padres were the two teams in it until the very end for Pablo Sandoval’s services. He ended up in Boston, and when he became available again over the past week, the Padres politely backed away. 

They prefer youth and Rule 5 Draft picks. They came into this season knowing they might lose 100 games, and they didn’t mind. If anything, they welcomed the increased shot at the top pick in the 2018 draft. They’re here to tank, but the Giants (who expect to welcome Sandoval back on a minor league deal as soon as Friday) just won’t let them. 

Thursday’s 5-2 loss to San Diego was like so many others over the past calendar year. The Giants didn’t hit, they didn’t come through in the clutch, they did not support their starting pitcher, and they did not guarantee a handshake line. 

The Giants have lost 15 of 20 to the Padres since last year’s All-Star break, including three straight last July to kickstart a tailspin that has lasted over a year now. They have dropped four of five meetings in this second half, which was supposed to prove that a Padre-like rebuild is not needed up here in the Bay Area. They are five games behind the Padres in the race to finish a distant fourth in the National League, and in a season full of disappointment, that stands as one of the more embarrassing facts. 

Not even Madison Bumgarner’s return to AT&T Park could turn the tide. The lefty looked good most of the night, but two homers left him with a rougher-than-hoped line. Bumgarner gave up four earned on two homers. He has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Both starts have come against the Padres. 

“I’ve got to stop giving up homers,” Bumgarner said of his start. “That’s not going to work.”

Bumgarner said he felt fine physically, and his curveball — the pitch that has backfired on him most often since his return — feels right mechanically. He was facing his last batter in the seventh as George Kontos warmed up with a runner on. Corey Spangenberg hit a two-run shot to the deepest part of the yard to make it 4-2. 

Buster Posey flied out with the bases loaded in the eighth. The Giants brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but couldn’t score, which has been the norm against the Padres. The Giants are averaging just 3.2 runs per game during this 20-game stretch of futility against a team they once dominated. 

“We need to win ballgames right now,” Bumgarner said. “We’ve got to start doing that. There’s no magic solution. We’ve got to start playing better, all of us.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A day after he did his press conference from a “Game of Thrones” throne, manager Bruce Bochy said he was happy the Giants won their series finale against the Indians and kept that plan in play. In that respect, he’s lucky his team wasn’t facing the Padres on Wednesday. 

The Giants were on Thursday, however, and they continued their baffling stretch of ineptitude against what is supposed to be the worst team in the National League West. The 5-2 loss to San Diego was the 15th in the last 20 meetings between the two teams, one of which has a $200 million payroll and the other of which is actively tanking. 

The Giants had a shot at a comeback in the eighth, but Buster Posey flied out to right with two outs and the bases loaded. Here are five things to know, if you are the curious type: 

—- Madison Bumgarner has faced the Padres twice since returning. In 13 1/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs. He is getting hurt by a familiar problem for the 2017 Giants: The Padres have four homers off Bumgarner in those two starts. Hunter Renfroe and Cory Spangenberg took him deep Thursday, with Spangenberg hitting one out to the deepest part of the yard on Bumgarner’s final pitch. 

—- This is the first time in Bumgarner’s career that he has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back starts. 

—- Kyle Crick showed good stuff — sitting 96-97 — while stranding a runner on second in the eighth. He followed that with a scoreless ninth. The Giants should make it a priority to throw him into some deeper water over the next two months. 

—- There’s an epidemic these days of outfielders making foolish throws to the plate. We see it just about every night, and it cost the Padres in the sixth. Gorkys Hernandez was on second and he took off right away on Denard Span’s single to right. Renfroe had no play at the plate but he threw it anyway and Span took second. He scored when Eduardo Nuñez singled to left. 

—- The Giants announced their second consecutive sellout. That’s a streak. Maybe?