Giants will let Bumgarner hit for himself in AL park

FILE - In this April 9, 2016, file photo, San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner (40) hits a solo home run in front of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis during the second inning of a baseball game in San Francisco. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said he plans to use his slugging pitcher Bumgarner instead of a designated hitter Thursday, June 30, 2016, night when the Giants visit the Oakland Athletics. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Jeff Chiu/AP

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Madison Bumgarner will get to hit for himself – even in an American League park.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy says he plans to use his slugging pitcher instead of a designated hitter Thursday night when the Giants visit the Oakland Athletics.

It will be the first time a team intentionally used a pitcher to hit instead of a DH since the Chicago White Sox allowed Ken Brett to do it in 1976 – the Rays were forced to bat pitcher Andy Sonnanstine in 2009 because of a lineup card mixup.

Bumgarner is batting .175 this season with two homers and five RBIs in 40 at-bats. He has nine homers in 183 at-bats the past three seasons, a rate that would lead to about 36 home runs if he had a full season as a hitter. Bumgarner has even made a public plea to enter into the All-Star Home Run Derby.

Bochy says he made the decision because the right-handed hitting Bumgarner is a dangerous hitter and the A's are starting lefty Dillon Overton.