AT&T PARK — As Madison Bumgarner coasted into second base, he pumped his fist emphatically and let out a roar. As the crowd continued cheering — with their rally towels waving like one big orange sea — Bumgarner pumped his fists again and dropped an expletive.
The ace’s two-base hit plated a pair of runs in the San Francisco Giants’ seven-run sixth.
After the 9-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, manager Bruce Bochy explained that Bumgarner only got to bat because pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie had just delivered a two-run double.
“I’ve got to hit [for him otherwise], I’ve got to score,” Bochy said. “If Conor doesn’t come through there, we had somebody up [in the bullpen] and a pinch-hitter ready.”
On a night when both their wild-card rivals had already won, the beating of the Dodgers kept the Giants one game behind the New York Mets and one game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. It also resulted in Bumgarner’s 100th career win.
“It’s a number,” Bochy said. “He’s going to get a lot more wins. This guy’s special. We’ve seen what he’s done for us. he ‘s just as a good of a competitor as I’ve ever seen.”
Bumgarner down-played the accomplishment.
“There’s a lot more at stake right now,” Bumgarner said. “So, that’s kind in the back of my mind. It was definitely special though to get to do. I’m very, very thankful and blessed for that.”
Brandon Belt punctuated the sixth-inning rally, which had begun with a leadoff walk to Angel Pagan, by putting a three-run homer onto the netting hanging above the kale garden beyond the center field wall.
Brandon McCarthy, who relieved Rich Hill to begin the sixth, endured a nightmare outing. The right-hander faced six batters and didn’t retire any of them — serving up five hits and a walk.
Half an inning before the Dodgers’ implosion, Bumgarner and the Giants found themselves in a far less favorable spot.
After retiring the first two batters in the top of the fifth, Bumgarner gave up three consecutive singles — the last of which came off the bat of Kiké Hernandez — as the Dodgers grabbed a 3-2 advantage.
With the run-scoring single, Hernandez owns a .500 average (12-for-24) against the left-hander, which is tied for the best mark for any opponent with at least 15 plate appearances.
The only other damage against Bumgarner came during his shaky first inning.
Bumgarner gave up an RBI double to Puig that was even louder than the boos that rained down on the right fielder. The ball left his bat at a speed of 111 mph, according to MLB StatCast.
The second came courtesy of a perfectly placed bloop off the bat of Carlos Ruiz that landed just beyond the reach of Brandon Crawford as the shortstop made a diving attempt in shallow center field.
“Nothing really changed except for a little bit of luck,” Bumgarner said of his early struggles. “You’re going out there going after weak contact and early outs and we got a lot of that. They just happened to fall in early on.”
The Giants also scored twice in the first — an impressive feat considering that Hill had allowed just five runs in as many starts as a Dodger entering the night.
The Giants avoided a potential injury scare in the eighth when an 83 mph changeup from J.P. Howell hit Belt in his right hand. Manager Bruce Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner hurried out from the dugout to check on him, but Belt ended up staying in the game.
“He’s fine. He was a little nervous at first,” Bochy said. “That was the same spot where he broke his hand [in the past], so initially I was going to take him out but he said it came back and felt fine.
The bean ball had been preceded by a couple of high-and-tight pitches by both sides. Buster Posey fell to the ground in the sixth inning after Josh Ravin buzzed him with a 96 mph fastball. Bochy wouldn’t say if he thought the umpires should have issued a warning at that point.
“I don’t want to get into that. Belt got hit and there’s concern there. He broke his hand a couple of years ago against them,” Bochy said. “You hate to see it, but you know what, it’s a case where anything happens between these two clubs, it’s going to raise eyebrows.”
In the top of the eighth, Derek Law went up and in on Puig before punching him out.
— An entertaining scene ensued in the top of the fourth inning when a pair of fans — wearing Dodger blue and carrying what appeared to be paper flowers — ran on the field.
When one of the intruders got too close to Posey, the catcher gave him a shove, knocking him to the ground.
“I think he probably should have been charged for a flop,” Posey joked. “I didn’t push him that hard.”
Bumgarner, who Bochy cracked had “bowed up” also offered his opinion.
“Well, I don’t think it took much for that particular guy, but that was pretty fun to watch,” Bumgarner said.
The fan eventually made his way to left field, where Pagan slammed him to the grass after feigning interest in the flower.
“I think Angel just felt like he had to stop things at that point because there was nobody close to him,” Bochy said. “So he was helping out security.”
Pagan insisted he meant no ill will.
“I just wanted to tackle him,” Pagan said. “I mean, I don’t want to harm him or anything. I just want to make sure that I help the security people and, as well, protect my teammates.”
— Bochy said Ty Blach will get the start for Saturday’s game, opposite Clayton Kershaw. The manager also expects to have all hands on deck out of the pen.
“I don’t know who’s not available. I guess that’s the best way I can answer it,” Bochy explained. “They’re all ready. They’re all set to go.”