OAKLAND – Tyler Colvin achieved something important when he led off the seventh inning with a home run.
He ensured neither the Giants nor Brazil would be shut out on Tuesday.
There is nothing worse than being embarrassed on your home turf. Being embarrassed a $6 bridge toll away doesn’t feel so good, either.
The Giants’ struggling offense couldn’t stand up to both Sonny Gray’s stuff and plate umpire Angel Hernandez’s geometric enigma of a strike zone, and one big third inning against Madison Bumgarner was a poison pill as the Giants lost 6-1 to the A’s at the Coliseum.
The Giants’ pitchers and hitters were upset at Hernandez’s strike zone all night and tempers flared after Jean Machi was called for a balk in the eighth. Catcher Buster Posey, with a scowl on his face, even bumped Hernandez while arguing the call and appeared to receive a warning from the umpire.
The only player ejected was Machi, and that came as he was walking off the mound and barking following a double-play grounder that ended the inning.
Hunter Pence had his own interactive moment in the third inning when he made a diving catch, cupped his hand to his ear and waved his arms, challenging chirping A’s fans to pump up the decibels.
Who knows? Maybe it’s healthier for the Giants to have someplace to direct their anger. Lord knows they have done their share of self loathing over the last four weeks.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner needed just 18 pitches to set down the A’s over the first two innings, but he threw twice that amount in a four-run third.
Jed Lowrie started the inning with an infield single and Nick Punto rifled an inside fastball down the left field line for an RBI double. Coco Crisp hit an RBI single to center on a high fastball, then took second base when Gregor Blanco made a feeble and unnecessary throw to the plate. Crisp promptly stole third base and came home on Yoenis Cespedes’ two-out bloop single that fell in shallow center field.
Bumgarner just could not close the door on the inning, as Josh Donaldson walked and Derek Norris grounded an RBI single through the left side. This time left fielder Tyler Colvin had the feeble throw which was off line for an error that allowed Donaldson to take third base. Bumgarner struck out Nate Freiman to avoid further damage. But the way the Giants offense has been null and void in recent weeks, there was enough damage to total the car.
Bumgarner kept his eyes locked on Hernandez as he walked off the mound. The Giants dugout appeared to be yelling, too.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy somehow made it to the end of the game without being ejected. Bumgarner almost went the distance as well, perhaps so Bochy could either rest his bullpen or avoid it entirely.
But the A’s scored two runs against Bumgarner in the eighth and Machi was asked to finish the inning. Bumgarner (9-7) was charged with six runs on 10 hits in 7-plus innings.
Machi appeared to step on the rubber and momentarily shuffle his feet before anyone else was ready when Hernandez called the balk.
At the plate
It took 16 innings over two games at the Coliseum before the Giants scored their first run, and it came when Colvin trotted home after lofting his second homer of the season over the right field wall.
The Giants had chances prior to that, but it was a familiar story. They just could not string hits together. In two games against Jesse Chavez and Gray, the Giants were 1 for 20 with runners on base. The only hit came when Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse collected consecutive singles to start the second inning, but Colvin flied out, then Gray struck out Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford.
The Giants were 1 for 9 with five strikeouts against Gray with runners on base. The young A’s ace needed just seven pitches to retire the side in the sixth.
They had two aboard in the eighth against old NL West foil Luke Gregerson, but Morse struck out while chasing a 1-2 pitch out of the zone.
Pence made a sliding catch of Alberto Callaspo’s sinking line drive near the line in right field and went berserk as he sprinted back to his position. He cupped his hand to his ear and waved his arms, presumably in response to the A’s loud and rowdy fans in the right field bleachers.
Donaldson made the play of the night for the A’s, crashing into the tarp after catching Panik’s foul pop in the seventh.
The A’s announced 36,067 paid, their 10th sellout of the season. Isn’t it funny how their announced sellouts always have the same number of tickets sold?
The Giants and A’s shift to AT&T Park for the final two games of their home-and-home Bay Bridge series. Matt Cain (1-7, 4.27 ERA) is scheduled to start on Wednesday against right-hander Jason Hammel, who is making his A’s debut. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PDT.