Instant Replay: Bumgarner strong, but Giants fall in San Diego

Instant Replay: Bumgarner strong, but Giants fall in San Diego
September 3, 2013, 10:15 pm
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With Tuesday's no-decision, Madison Bumgarner has won once in nine starts since the All-Star break. And he has a 2.67 ERA over that span. (AP)

BOX SCORE

SAN DIEGO – Remember the Giants’ 3-2 loss Tuesday night as Heath Hembree’s major league debut.

Otherwise, you can pretty much forget it.

It was another spectacularly wasteful night for the Giants offense, who used their fork to slide a freshly baked leadoff triple from Angel Pagan into the food scrap pail in the seventh inning.

That stood out as the worst transgression on another night when Madison Bumgarner pitched well enough to win, but didn’t. Chris Denorfia's single off Javier Lopez in the seventh put the Padres in front to stay. It’s the same game the Giants have played eight other times since the All-Star break.

They couldn’t rely on Buster Posey to come up with a hit with two outs in the ninth. He took a bounced pitch off his right hand that appeared to bend back his middle or ring fingers in the sixth inning. Due up in the seventh and probably unable to grip a bat, Hector Sanchez pinch-hit for him.

Sanchez struck out to strand Pagan at third base. Then, after Brandon Belt doubled in the ninth, Sanchez tapped back to pitcher Huston Street as the Giants went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.

The Padres jumped ahead of them to take fourth place in the NL West. The Giants are alone in last again.

Starting pitching report
Bumgarner has won once in nine starts since the All-Star break. And he has a 2.67 ERA over that span.

Embarrassed much, Giants?

Bumgarner wasn’t perfect while allowing two runs in six innings. He made one huge mistake in the fifth inning, after doubles by Kyle Blanks and Nick Hundley put the Padres up 1-0. Following an intentional walk to Ronny Cedeno, Bumgarner tried to over power pitcher Robbie Erlin with a fastball at the belt. Erlin served it into center field for his first big league hit and RBI.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy made contact in the dugout, too. Cameras caught him kicking something.

But after the Giants tied it in the sixth, Bumgarner showed there’s a difference between giving up and giving in. Will Venable smoked a double to start the inning and Bumgarner responded by striking out Jedd Gyorko and Jesus Guzman. Then he refused to give in when Blanks battled him for eight pitches, finally issuing a walk. Bumgarner moved along to the next guy and struck out Logan Forsythe on four fastballs to end the inning.

In a just universe, the Giants would’ve scored eight runs in the top of the seventh and rewarded Bumgarner with a victory. But as Hunter Pence once said, it can’t be Candyland every year.

Bumgarner threw 100 pitches while holding the Padres to five hits and two walks – one intentional and the other to Blanks. That was enough work for a September game when the only thing at stake is cellar dwelling.

Bullpen report
The Giants have 11 relievers on the active roster. It's harder to get a seat in the bullpen than at Bar Agricole on a Saturday night.

But it wasn’t a good mix in the seventh inning. Jake Dunning, one of eight call-ups, issued a walk and allowed a single to put runners at the corners. Left-hander Javier Lopez replaced the kid and got pinch hitter Mark Kotsay to pop up. But Bochy clearly wanted to keep Lopez in the game for Venable, so he kept his left-hander in there to face Denorfia, a right-handed hitter, in a clear pitch-around situation.

Lopez got to two strikes but failed to execute. He missed over the plate and Denorfia made him pay with a tiebreaking single.

George Kontos limited the damage by getting Jedd Gyorko to fly out.

Hembree, wearing Brian Wilson’s reissued No. 38, made his big league debut in the eighth and dispensed with the butterflies while retiring all three batters he faced, striking out two. His fastball topped out at 92 mph but he spotted it well and showed a good feel for his slider.

At the plate
Erlin is a local kid from the Santa Cruz mountains, so we’ll withhold any sharp comments. But it should be noted that he had a 5.07 ERA and 1.6 WHIP in Triple-A.

The Giants couldn’t do much with him in 5 1/3 innings, though. And once again, it was a famine with runners on base.

Pablo Sandoval looked bad while striking out to strand the bases loaded in the first inning. Posey struck out looking to leave Pagan at third base in the third. The Giants finally strung some hits together in the sixth, when they had four singles in a five-batter span. Brandon Belt and Posey set the table, Sandoval’s RBI single to left knocked Erlin from the game and Arias followed with another to tie it up.

But the rally stopped there. And then the Giants stranded Pagan after a leadoff triple in the seventh. Tony Abreu popped up, Belt hit a shallow fly out to left field and Sanchez struck out.

Pagan finished with three hits – he was a homer away from the cycle – and also stole a base. His hamstring surgeon, Dodgers orthopedist Dr. Neal El Attrache, should light a cigar when he sees the box score.

In field
Denorfia made the play of the game, racing to the wall to catch Arias’ deep drive to the right field wall in the second inning. Forsythe, the second baseman, followed by taking a hit away from Juan Perez.

And quietly, Sanchez momentarily saved a run when he made an acrobatic stop of Lopez’s skidding pitch to Denorfia with a runner at third base in the seventh.

Attendance
The Padres announced 19,889 paid. The delicious fish tacos taste the same even when you’re 14 games under .500.

Up next
The Giants and Padres conclude their three-game series at Petco Park with a Wednesday matinee. Tim Lincecum (8-13, 4.38) starts at Petco for the first time since his no-hitter July 13. He’ll oppose left-hander Eric Stults (8-12, 3.81). First pitch is scheduled for 3:40 p.m.

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