Bumgarner, Giants avoid Bay Bridge sweep

OAKLAND — The legend of Slugging Madison Bumgarner has grown to such heights that manager Bruce Bochy no longer knows if reporters are asking him questions about his ace’s arm or his bat.

“At the plate or pitching?” Bochy replied when asked for an assessment of Bumgarner’s night following the San Francisco Giants 12-6 beatdown of the Oakland Athletics.

In the third inning of the club’s 50th win, the visitors put six runs on the board before Dillon Overton retired a single out.

The rally began when Bumgarner sent a leadoff double sailing into center field. The drive actually went in and out of the glove of Billy Burns, as he attempted to make an over-the-shoulder catch at full sprint.

“He smoked that ball, and we needed something to ignite this offense,” Bochy said. “And he did it. We had the big inning that he started.”

Two batters later, Brandon Belt handed the Giants a 2-1 advantage, lining a ground-rule double over Burns’ head. The center fielder got a late jump off the bat and then turned the wrong way, allowing Belt’s shot to bound off the warning track and over the wall.

Buster Posey then stepped to the plate and broke the game open. The catcher hit his three-run homer so hard that it never came down, landing in the camera well below the suites in left-center field.

Brandon Crawford capped the seven-run fourth with a solo shot that hit the top of the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. The shortstop, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, has now driven in ten runs in the past four games.

Grant Green — Crawford’s fourth double-play partner of the week — contributed a single in his Giants debut.

The 28-year-old journeyman had his contract purchased from the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats earlier in the day as the Giants scrambled to find a healthy infielder in the wake of Ramiro Pena’s sprained ankle and Joe Panik’s concussion.

The last Giant to appear at the Coliseum, Green lugged a Los Angeles Angels suitcase and a River Cats equipment bag as he arrived in the visiting clubhouse at 4:45 p.m. Before starting at second and batting seventh, Green hadn’t appeared in a game in 10 days.

“Mac [Williamson] decided to helicopter a bat into our dugout — on accident,” Green said of the fluke play which required four stitches in his right knee. “And I was the unlucky man that got hit with the bat.”

Bumgarner’s winning outing, which snapped his personal two-game losing skid, began inauspiciously. In the top of the first, Marcus Semien — the second batter he faced — crushed his 16th home run just to the right of the jagged edge in left-center field.

For Semien, who continues to add to his All-Star resume, the drive set a new career high in home runs, and gives him three more than any shortstop in the American League.

In the seventh, another home run ended Bumgarner’s night. With Jake Smolinksi standing at first, Yonder Alonso lined a two-run laser over the wall in right.

“I felt alright. I felt good,” Bumgarner said after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings of work. “I just didn’t make a lot of quality pitches and it cost me there, but we had such a big lead that we could afford to go after guys and if that didn’t happen it wasn’t as big a deal as if it was a closer game.”

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