Giants' Bumgarner has uneven outing during rehab start

BY AP • July 1, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner allowed four runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings and had an uneven outing during a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night.

The 2014 World Series MVP consistently threw his fastball in the low 90s and was mostly crisp with his off-speed pitches but frequently fell behind in the count and got hit hard early. Bumgarner threw 62 pitches, 41 for strikes.

Bumgarner also showed his intensity, coming off the mound to glare at plate umpire David Arrieta in the first inning following a close pitch that was called a ball. He responded with three straight strikes registering 92, 91 and 92 mph.

''I feel like I'm four innings through spring training,'' Bumgarner said. ''I felt pretty good today. The results obviously weren't very good but that's not what's important right now. The important thing to me is being healthy and stamina and arm strength and all that, and I feel pretty good about it.''

A four-time All-Star, Bumgarner gave up a leadoff double to Tony Kemp to start the game, hit a batter and walked the bases loaded in the first inning before escaping after allowing a sacrifice fly to Fresno's Colin Moran.

Things didn't go any smoother in the second when the Grizzlies scored three runs off Bumgarner to go up 4-0. Fresno strung together three consecutive one-out hits and Derek Fisher added an RBI double over the head of Sacramento center fielder Justin Ruggiano.

After needing only eight pitches to get through the third, Bumgarner gave up a leadoff single in the fourth then retired the next two hitters before being removed.

''That's the fourth time off the mound to hitters and each time out's been better and better,'' Bumgarner said. ''Today honestly felt pretty close to normal for me. Everything felt pretty good. The slider wasn't great. Later on in the game they got better but that was the one pitch I gotta get to be a little better before we're ready.''

Bumgarner has not pitched in the majors since suffering a sprained AC joint in his pitching shoulder and bruised ribs in a dirt bike accident during the Giants day off in Colorado on April 20. He avoided surgery and had been pitching in the Arizona Rookie League before beginning his rehab assignment with the River Cats.

Brian Sabean, the Giants executive vice president of baseball operations and former general manager, was on hand and watched from the press box as Bumgarner made his first start in Triple-A since 2010 when he was with Fresno.

The Giants have struggled without their ace. San Francisco entered the day with the second-worst record in the National League (30-51), 23 games out of first place in the West.

While anxious to return, Bumgarner isn't going to rush things. He's scheduled to pitch again in five days, possibly again with Sacramento or Class-A San Jose.

''Definitely ready to but I can't go up there throwing 65 pitches,'' Bumgarner said. ''That's not going to do us much good. I have to make sure that we're ready to go once we're finished with this thing.''

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