Bumgarner pitches Giants to win and swings the bat, too
San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner shatters his bat on a pitch from Oakland Athletics' Daniel Coulombe during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Madison Bumgarner is all for his bat starting rallies that help the San Francisco Giants win.
Especially in this case, when they were staring at the possibility of a sweep in the Bay Bridge Series.
Bumgarner pitched into the seventh to snap a two-start skid and also batted in an AL ballpark, and the Giants avoided a four-game sweep by beating the Oakland Athletics 12-6 on Thursday night.
''I'm not trying to prove anything to anybody. We're trying to win ballgames,'' Bumgarner said. ''That's all I care about. I don't care what anybody says or thinks about it. I care about these guys, I care about our fans. … I want to be as good a baseball player as I can be, not just a pitcher. In this league you've got to hit. You can change the outcome of the game sometimes.''
Buster Posey hit a towering three-run homer to center in the third and Brandon Crawford followed with a solo shot before adding an RBI single two innings later.
Brandon Belt had four RBIs and hit a go-ahead two-run double in the third ahead of Posey's ninth home run. Bumgarner helped start the rally with a leadoff double.
''He got us started. He smoked that ball,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''We needed something to ignite this offense. He did it.''
Bumgarner (9-4) was given the option by Bochy to bat himself rather than the Giants using a designated hitter, and of course the big lefty chose to swing the bat. He had lost two straight starts following seven consecutive winning decisions.
Marcus Semien hit his career-best 16th home run in the first as the A's took a quick lead against Bumgarner, then Yonder Alonso added a two-run drive in the seventh to chase Bumgarner. Hunter Strickland relieved. Oakland has homered in a season-best nine games in a row.
Bumgarner allowed four runs and seven hits, struck out four and didn't walk a batter in 6 1/3 innings. The two home runs allowed matched his most for the season, also done opening day at Milwaukee on April 4. He hasn't lost three straight starts since June 27-July 8, 2014, during his spectacular World Series MVP season.
While San Francisco had given up seven or more runs in four straight games, the Giants helped Oakland score at least six runs in a seventh straight contest when Coco Crisp hit a two-out, two-run double in the ninth.
San Francisco added on late, getting Belt's two-run single. Fernando Rodriguez also walked in a pair of runs among his five free passes in the inning, and the A's had their three-game winning streak snapped with only a second defeat in the last eight games.
A's lefty Dillon Overton (1-1) was done after three innings in his second major league start after he won his debut last Saturday at Los Angeles. This time, he surrendered eight runs and eight hits with a strikeout and three walks. He said he wasn't able to make the adjustments he usually does – and Overton knew Bumgarner had the ability to hurt him at the plate.
''I've watched him on TV for years now. I knew he could hit,'' Overton said. ''I left that one up and Bum made me pay for it.''
Giants: With 2B Joe Panik on the concussion list and 2B Ramiro Pena sidelined with a sprained ankle after colliding with RF Mac Williamson on Wednesday, San Francisco purchased the contract of 2B Grant Green and inserted him into the starting lineup immediately. He hadn't played in nine days since Williamson – then with Triple-A Sacramento – inadvertently let go of his bat and it hit Green in the right knee. He required four stitches, which were removed Wednesday. … RHP Sergio Romo, out since April 15 with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow, was set to throw consecutive days and then be ready to come off the 60-day disabled list.
Athletics: LHP reliever Sean Doolittle had an MRI exam that showed some labrum inflammation in his strained throwing shoulder, which landed him on the 15-day DL retroactive to Sunday. He had tried to play catch Wednesday but struggled. The hope is he will be ready to return after the All-Star break. … OF Khris Davis was out of the lineup a day after being scratched with a bruised left shoulder injured running into the wall Tuesday. He batted in the cage and felt better than a day earlier. … The A's agreed to terms with No. 6 overall draft pick LHP A.J. Puk out of Florida. He threw a bullpen session for the Oakland brass.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (11-1) takes the ball on the road looking to improve on his 7-2 record and 2.69 ERA in 10 career starts against Arizona.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (3-6) tries to snap a career-high five-game skid. He is 0-1 with a 3.23 ERA in five starts since coming off the DL on June 5 and he is 0-5 with a 6.19 ERA over his last 10 outings.