AT&T PARK — Madison Bumgarner’s third home run — and his first since opening day — left the stadium with such authority that even the left-handed ace, famous for his disdain of post-homer celebrations, had to stop and admire.
The sound off the bat had jolted the crowd, as the 420-foot, 107-mph home run flew past the left field wall, disappearing into the tunnel wedged between the bleachers and the foul pole.
On Sunday afternoon, in the San Francisco Giants 7-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, MadBum’s majestic home run wasn’t the story of the day. Instead, it was his inability to keep the guests from exiting the park.
“He was a little bit off today,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s coming off flu-like symptoms. He probably wasn’t quite full strength.”
Bumgarner’s fifth-inning blast had briefly tied the game at 2-2. An inning before that, Paul DeJong and Joe Martinez had gone back-to-back.
An inning after Bumgarner’s homer, Martinez would once again be in the middle of the rally, as the Cards pulled away for good. The Cards first baseman connected on a double before adding a ground-rule double in the seventh. Center fielder Harrison Bader had sparked the rally with a solo home run
Bumgarner ended his day allowing five earned runs in six innings on five hits — three of which left the park. With the temperature sitting at 79 degrees at first pitch, Bumgarner was not inclined to blame the weather.
“I don’t think whether it was 30 degrees or 100 degrees [it mattered],” Bumgarner said. “All the balls that got hit today — at least off of me — I don’t think [the heat] had any effect on them at all.”
The loss drops Bumgarner’s record to 3-7, as the lefty has now surrendered 14 long balls in as many starts.
“I’m obviously disappointed with my part,” Bumgarner said. “I didn’t give us a chance to win today. I let that game get away from us. I’ve just got to find a way not to do that. I can’t let that happen.”
Gorkys brings his glove
The day would have been even uglier for Bumgarner and the Giants if not for Gorkys Hernandez. The center fielder robbed a homer in the first and made sliding plays on the track in the seventh and ninth, respectively.
“Gorkys had a quite a game, didn’t he?” Bochy said. “I’m trying to add up the runs that he saved us.”
“That’s one of the best defensive games I’ve seen one player have with all the plays that he made,” the manager added. “He’s a gifted outfielder. And whether it’s left field, center field or right field, he just does a great job and it’s exciting to watch those kind of plays.”
Moore in relief
Matt Moore, who won’t start until next weekend against the Chicago White Sox, closed out the afternoon with a pair of shutout innings.
“I didn’t want him going to long without going on a mound and what I saw was a very good two innings,” Bochy said. “Good location [and] stuff and I think he was just excited about going out there to help us out.”