Giants 7, Rockies 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
The rookie's stumbling, falling down inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning capped a stellar night for the defending World Series champs, who are trying to salvage what they can from this disappointing season.
''If somebody with his speed is able to run around, fall down and still make it, he must have hit it a long way,'' said Bumgarner after combining with two relievers on a three-hitter in San Francisco's 7-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night. ''That's a good first home run story.''
Bumgarner has a pretty good tale of his own, finishing with a 13-13 record after starting the season 0-6. He won his final five starts at AT&T Park with a 0.54 ERA during that stretch.
Against Colorado, Bumgarner was outstanding. He retired 18 of the final 19 batters he faced, did not walk anyone for the second straight start and finished with nine strikeouts.
That gave him 191 strikeouts for the season and pushed Bumgarner over 200 innings pitched - a goal he set out for himself coming out of spring training.
''From last year and earlier this season you've seen the growth in this kid,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''He's got presence out there, he's got poise and he keeps coming at you.''
Brandon Belt homered into McCovey Cove while Brandon Crawford added two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who have won two straight following a four-game losing streak.
That's little consolation for the defending World Series champs, who will still miss the postseason a year after claiming their first title in 54 years.
Colorado only got one runner to third base and lost for the 11th time in 13 games to fall 22 games behind Arizona in the NL West.
''We did not pitch and when you don't pitch you can't win at this level,'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ''Combine that with the fact that we got three hits ... maybe we're fortunate that we got beat only 7-0.''
Bochy juggled his lineup slightly, starting Gillaspie at third and moving Pablo Sandoval to first. It seemed to do the trick.
Gillaspie singled and scored on Belt's homer in the fourth then stumbled his way around the bases in the seventh for his first career home run.
The Giants rookie hit a deep fly ball into the gap in right center that sailed over the head of Colorado outfielder Ty Wiggington. Gillaspie raced around the bases and broke for home when Wiggington overthrew cutoff man Mark Ellis. He tripped after rounding third then had to hustle to beat the throw home from shortstop Tommy Field.
''I thought for sure I was going to get thrown out,'' Gillaspie said. ''If I wouldn't have fallen I think I would have had it easy. But it worked out and it's pretty exciting.''
Belt hit his ninth homer, a two-run shot off Rockies starter Alex White, in the fourth. It was Belt's first splash hit and the 84th overall at the Giants waterfront ballpark.
The only player younger than the 23-year-old Belt to reach the waters at ATA&T Park is Sandoval, who did it 12 days shy of his 23rd birthday. Giants hitters have done it a total of 60 times, 35 from home run king Barry Bonds.
Belt later walked and scored on Crawford's triple in the sixth.
That was all the support Bumgarner needed to secure San Francisco's seventh consecutive win over Colorado and 13th overall this season.
Bumgarner, the winning pitcher in Game 4 of the World Series last season, allowed only two hits and pitched with runners on base in only two innings - the second and sixth. Each time, he worked out of trouble.
Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled leading off the second and took third on Jordan Pacheco's single to right. Bumgarner (13-13) then struck out the next three hitters, including Wilin Rosario and Field who were both caught looking at a third strike.
White (2-4) got off to a rough start, walking leadoff batter Andres Torres on six pitches then uncorking back-to-back wild pitches to advance Torres to third. Mike Fontenot followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
San Francisco put two runners on in the second and had a runner at second in the third but couldn't add on until Gillaspie singled in the fourth and Belt homered.
Crawford's RBI triple was the second of the rookie's career. He later scored on a wild pitch, the fourth of the night thrown by Colorado pitchers.
Notes: Tracy will bring back his entire coaching staff next season, including hitting coach Carney Lansford and pitching coach Bob Apodaca, both of whom have come under fire this year. ... Colorado general manager Dan O'Dowd and slugger Jason Giambi held a lengthy meeting in the dugout two hours before the game discussing the future of the club and some of the players. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz makes his fourth career start for Colorado. Pomeranz (1-1) allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings but left with a no-decision against the Giants on Sept. 17. ... LHP Eric Surkamp (2-1) pitches for San Francisco. ... Bill Neukom, who will retire as the Giants' controlling owner at the end of the year and be replaced by Larry Baer as chief executive officer, was on the field during batting practice. ... Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell and winger Ryan Clowe of the San Jose Sharks were among those in attendance.