SAN FRANCISCO Madison Bumgarner has spoiled us all.Bumgarner, who is still just 23, has been so good so far inhis young career that sometimes he makes you forget just how difficult it is topitch in the major leagues.Sometimes, you forget how easily a game can be ruined, how onesmall lapse can be all it takes. When you see what happened on a day likeSaturday, it actually makes you appreciate even more what Bumgarner did in hisprevious start, when he shut out the Dodgers over eight innings of sheerbrilliance.But he wasnt thinking about that in the wake of the Giants7-3 loss to the Braves. He had the sour look of a guy who just failed histeammates, even though, by an objective standard, he still wasnt that bad, andhe left with his team still in the game.I just got out of whack mentally and mechanically, andwasnt able to get it back, Bumgarner said.He was referring to the third inning. Opposing pitcher MikeMinor with a .024 batting average, one hit and one walk in 45 plateappearances was in the box to start the inning. Bumgarner walked him. After astrikeout, he walked Martin Prado.Then with the sizzling Jason Heyward at the plate, hisfastball outside wasnt so much outside as, wellOver the middle of the plate, Bumgarner said.And Heyward drilled it over the right-field fence, hisfourth homer in 10 games. Just like that, the Braves had a 3-0 lead.I felt pretty good the first couple innings, then thewheels kind of fell off, Bumgarner said. I was still able to battle throughand get some outs, but you cant pitch that way, not feeling confident in yourstuff, not feeling like you can put the ball where you want, especially againsta team like that.Bumgarner did it again in the seventh, when he grooved afastball to Minor, who ripped it off the right-field wall for a double.I just kind of set it out there on a tee for him,Bumgarner said. It just goes back to not having confidence in your stuff. Ididnt feel like I could put it where I needed to. Its something you have towork through.Truth be told, Bumgarner was a little hard on himself.Manager Bruce Bochy said overall I thought he pitched pretty good. When Bumgarnersfinal line was tallied, hed allowed four runs in six-plus innings, which iscertainly a passable bad start.The Giants still had a shot to win the game even after hewas done, thanks to Gregor Blancos two-run pinch-hit double in the bottom ofthe seventh, which made it 4-3.Only the Giants bullpen We got a little sloppy there inthe eighth and ninth, Bochy said put the game out of reach again, and theysaw their five-game winning streak come to an end.Bumgarners struggles and those of the offense, which hadbeen hitting .299 and scoring more than five runs a game over the previouseight, were rare enough that the Giants could simply shrug their shoulders andblow this one off. The Braves, after all, are no punching bag. They entered theday as leaders in the wild card race, with the exact same record as the Giants.We knew it was going to be hard, Blanco said. We had five straight wins and we wanted it to be six, but this happens and hopefully well start another streak tomorrow.
In what was set up to be a pivotal matchup of the game turned into a heated exchange.
Buster Posey stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday against Phillies closer Hector Neris.
But Posey never got to swing the bat. On the first pitch, Neris drilled the Giants catcher in the ribs with a 95 MPH fastball.
Posey whinced in pain and as he walked to first base, he appeared to ask Neris if the pitch was on purpose.
After the game, Posey was asked about the kerfuffle.
"I'm pretty certain he hit me on purpose. And it's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he couldn't get me out," Posey told reporters after the game.
Posey was asked if he could think of any incidents in previous games against the Phillies that could have led to the hit-by-pitch. He said no and asked the reporters if they could think of anything.
Posey's comments were brought to Neris after the game.
"It's stupid because nobody who watched that said, 'Oh he hit him on purpose in that situation,'" Neris told reporters, according to the Philly Inquirer.
Posey and Neris have faced each other just one time in the past. In the ninth inning of the June 3 matchup in Philadelphia, Posey flew out to left field.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched six innings in one of his best starts this season, took a line drive off his left shin and hit an RBI single that temporarily gave the Giants an early lead.
The reward? A heaping of praise from manager Bruce Bochy, handshakes from his teammates and another no-decision - Bumgarner's third in eight starts since coming off the disabled list.
Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins homered again, Pedro Florimon contributed with his bat and arm, and the Phillies scored three runs in the eighth to beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.
In what has been a theme for San Francisco much of the season, Bumgarner's efforts were overshadowed by another meltdown from the Giants' bullpen.
"I thought it was a good day for Madison," Bochy said. "We had it lined up like we wanted as far as the bullpen. (Hunter Strickland) just had an off day making some mistakes."
Bumgarner allowed one run and four hits. He stayed in despite taking a sharp line drive off his left shin in the second inning by Nick Williams - earlier this month, Williams hit Mets ace Jacob deGrom in the triceps with a line drive, forcing him from the game.
"I tried to do a kick save but I wasn't very good at soccer," Bumgarner said. "It almost worked out."
Hoskins connected for a solo drive in the ninth inning, making him the first Phillies player in at least 100 years to hit five home runs in his first 11 major league games.
"I got to better counts, I think this week, and the results show," Hoskins said.
Florimon hit a two-run single off Strickland (2-3) to cap a three-run eighth inning that made it 4-2. Florimon also had an RBI double off Bumgarner in the second, then made a sparkling defensive play in left field to throw out Buster Posey at the plate in the bottom of the inning.
It was Florimon's first major league game in left field.
"I just try to catch the ball and throw the ball to home plate and see what happens," Florimon said. "I made a good throw."
Adam Morgan (2-1) retired three batters for the win, a day after throwing just one pitch and getting the victory.
Hector Neris pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 15th save. He struck out Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded to end the eighth after hitting Posey in the back with a pitch, then fanned Denard Span with two on in the ninth to end it.
The Phillies won the season series against the Giants for the first time since 2011.
Philadelphia trailed 2-1 going into the eighth. Hoskins and Maikel Franco hit consecutive one-out singles before Jorge Alfaro tied it with an RBI single. After Williams singled to load the bases, Florimon slapped a 1-2 pitch into right field.
Posey had two hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 22 games. Kelby Tomlinson scored a run and Ryder Jones doubled and scored for San Francisco.
Posey had a rough afternoon physically. In addition to taking a 95 mph fastball in the back, Posey also appeared to get hurt while tagging out a sliding Cameron Perkins at the plate in the second.
Afterward, the Giants' All-Star catcher voiced his displeasure about Neris.
"I'm certain that he hit me on purpose," Posey said. "It's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he could get me out."
Giants 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) continues to make steady progress and could come off the disabled list in time to join San Francisco on its upcoming road trip that begins Friday in Arizona.
Phillies: The team gets an off day before hosting Miami in a doubleheader Tuesday. RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) pitches in the first game and RHP Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) goes in the nightcap.
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (1-2, 4.91) faces Milwaukee on Monday.