SAN FRANCISCO – Ballplayers are supposed to recharge their batteries during the All-Star break. Not immediately before it.
The Giants sure got one historic charge out of theirs Sunday afternoon.
One inning after catcher Buster Posey hit a grand slam, pitcher Madison Bumgarner parked his own shot with the bases loaded. It was the first time in major league history that pitching and catching teammates hit a grand slam in the same game, and it sent the Giants into the break with an 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park.
Posey’s slam in the fifth inning was the second of his career in the regular-season, not counting the one he hit off the Reds in the 2012 NL Division Series.
Bumgarner’s slam also was the second of his career, and both have come this season. Including his four-run shot April 11 against the Colorado Rockies, Bumgarner became the first major league pitcher to hit two grand slams in a season since 1966, when the Braves’ Tony Cloninger so memorably hit two in a game at Candlestick Park on July 3 of that year.
In more immediate history, the Giants won their first home series in more than a month, or had you forgotten that three-game sweep of the Mets on June 6-8 that put them 21 games over .500? They had gone 4-16 at home since that series before Arizona came to town.
By taking two of three from the Diamondbacks, the Giants matched the 2011 team with the most victories (52) heading into the All-Star break in the last 11 years.
The Giants also scored eight runs in a game for the first time since June 1.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner gave up four runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings, he has allowed 20 hits over his last two starts and he’ll head to the All-Star Game with a 3.47 ERA. But his NL teammates probably won’t strike up many conversations with him about his pitching.
His mound work was almost a side note Sunday.
Bumgarner (10-7) fell behind 1-0 when he gave up a run on a couple singles and a sacrifice bunt in the third inning. The Diamondbacks didn’t score again until after both he and Posey had combined to put eight runs on the board.
Former teammate Cody Ross hit a two-run home run in a three-run seventh inning that chased Bumgarner, who received a sustained standing ovation from the sellout crowd.
Sergio Romo had another promising outing, striking out two in a scoreless eighth. Santiago Casilla retired three batters in the ninth. The bullpen didn’t allow a hit.
At the plate
A bunch of weird stuff preceded both grand slams.
Bumgarner doubled to start the rally in the fifth, Hunter Pence was hit by a pitch and Pablo Sandoval barely beat out an infield single. That set the table for Posey, who crushed a 1-0 fastball for his first home run since June 14.
The sixth inning began when Joaquin Arias singled and took second on Inciarte’s error. Then Ehire Adrianza hit a pop-up that shortstop Nick Ahmed dropped for an error. Brandon Crawford walked to load ‘em up for Bumgarner, who was geared up for reliever Nick Stites’ 98 mph fastball and belted the first pitch into the left field seats.
With his third homer of the season, Bumgarner matched the Giants’ San Francisco-era record last done by Don Robinson in 1989. Bumgarner’s 12 RBIs this season already are the most by a Giants pitcher since 1966, when Juan Marichal set a San Francisco-era record (15) that still stands. For now, anyway.
Sandoval initially turned a double play in the sixth when he tagged out Ender Inciarte in a rundown between second and third after Bumgarner picked him off. Sandoval continued running to second base in an attempt to tag out Martin Prado advancing, and literally shoved him off the base before applying a tag.
Prado initially was called out before umpires huddled and ruled that Sandoval had pushed him off the base. At least Sandoval avoided a yellow card.
Hunter Pence followed up by making the defensive play of the game, leaping near the right field wall to take a double away from Paul Goldschmidt.
The Giants announced 41,288 paid on Angel Pagan bobblehead night. Be careful! They’re fragile.
It’s the All-Star break. The Giants reconvene on Friday when they begin a three-game series with the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.