Categories: Breaking News MLB

Hitters back up Bumgarner with timely hitting

AT&T PARK — After the San Francisco Giants managed only five hits in their 5-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, manager Bruce Bochy insisted that a few of his slumping hitters were getting close.

When asked who in particular, Bochy wouldn’t specify.

“I won’t bring up names,” Bochy said. “But I think you can figure out who I’m talking about.”

Joe Panik and Brandon Belt both fit the description, and a night later, both right-side infielders made their boss look smart.

Panik collected a pair of ground-rule doubles — his first extra-base hits since returning from a concussion on July 28 — and Belt hammered a two-run shot onto the arcade above the brick archways in right field.

“It’s encouraging to see how they’ve been swinging the bats the last two or three days,” Bochy said. “And Panik [had a] big day [and] Belt.”

Denard Span also contributed a couple of two-out, two-run singles in the 6-2 win on Saturday night.

“Timely hitting’s what wins ball games for you and, of course, good pitching,” Bochy said. “And [Madison] Bum[garner] threw a beautiful game.”

Bumgarner punched out eight Orioles in his seven innings of scoreless work to break a five-start losing streak.

“[It feels] a lot better than the alternative,” Bumgarner said. “I mean, that’s why we come to work every day — to win a ball game.”

Cain struggles in series opener

Matt Cain surrendered five runs in his four-plus innings of work on Friday night, and it could have been worse than that. The Orioles tagged Cain for 11 hits — including a 441-foot homer by Mark Trumbo and a solo blast by Chris Davis.

“That’s a good-hitting ball club,” Bochy said. “That’s a club with a lot of power and they took advantage of him.”

Karl Buscheck

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