AT&T PARK — As Jay Bruce’s 25th home run bounced off the arcade in right field and landed on the sidewalk next to McCovey Cove, the Cincinnati Reds right fielder joined an exclusive club.
With the drive — his fourth of the series and his sixth in his last five games — Bruce became one of just three left-handed hitters to go deep against Madison Bumgarner in 2016.
“The way he’s going right now, he’s not going to miss those, he’s not going to foul them off,” Bumgarner said.
Bruce also spoiled Bumgarner and the Giants afternoon, as his homer sent the club to a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday afternoon.
Conor Gillaspie gave the Giants an early 1-0 advantage in the third inning. The third baseman’s slammed a 71-mph curve ball from Dan Straily off the ledge above the brick archways in Triples Alley. Gillaspie’s long ball was one of just three hits the team managed against the Reds’ right-hander, who allowed one run in 7.2 innings.
“It’s disappointing, but unfortunately sometimes in this game you run into a well-pitched game,” Bochy explained. “I’ll say it, he did pitch great.”
Thanks in part to an error by Angel Pagan, the Reds tied the contest at 1-1 in the fifth.
After Brandon Phillips lined a one-out single up the middle, Pagan misplayed a fly ball in left, allowing Eugenio Suarez to coast into second and Phillips to advance to third.
“That ball was hit hard and it’s a tough play,” Bochy said. “I don’t know [what happened]. I didn’t talk to him [about whether] he lost it in the sun.”
Phillips then scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tucker Barnhart, marking the first run Bumgarner had allowed at home since June 25.
With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the eighth, Bochy left Bumgarner in to hit for himself. The ace delivered, lining a single to left.
“That felt good,” Bumgarner said. “I felt pretty good at the plate today — better than I have been.”
Bochy promptly replaced Bumgarner with pinch-runner Ramiro Pena before Gregor Blanco grounded out to second base to end the threat.
In the ninth, the Giants also put the tying run on first when Pagan led off the inning with a single. Reds closer Tony Cingrani then retired Mac Williamson, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford in order to end the game.
With the loss dropping the Giants to 2-9 in the second half, Bumgarner admitted the club’s recent slide has become a topic of conversation in the clubhouse.
“There’s been talk amongst the guys,” Bumgarner said. “We’ve got a really good group of guys. We are on the younger side, but we’ve got a lot of guys that’ve been through a lot of adversity and that have been here for the championship teams. So, they know what it’s about and we’ve just got to keep going. That’s it. That’s the only way to do it.”