About the only thing Madison Bumgarner didn’t do Saturday night was get a hit of his own.
Bumgarner lost his bid for a perfect game on a single with two outs in the eighth inning, the lone blemish for the Giants ace in an 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.
“I’m here to win games. That’s it,” Bumgarner said. “All the other stuff is really cool and I’ll take it. It would definitely be special, but winning is what I like most.”
Bumgarner (18-7) retired his first 23 batters before pinch-hitter Melvin Upton Jr. sent a clean single up the middle. The big left-hander received a warm ovation from the disappointed crowd of 41,564 and then went right back to work.
“He’s been so good it seems fitting for him to throw a perfect game,” teammate Brandon Belt said. “I hated to see that go through, but it doesn’t take away how good he was.”
Bumgarner completed the one-hitter without permitting another runner and finished with nine strikeouts while matching his career high for wins set last year.
“When he’s got it going he’s tough, and we caught him on a day he had it,” Upton said. “He didn’t make many mistakes. The stars have to be aligned for guys to pitch games like that.”
It was the fifth career shutout and second this season for Bumgarner, who has thrown four of his 10 major league complete games this year.
“I like to be the guy that starts and, at the same time, I want to finish it,” he said.
Marlon Byrd drove in three runs. Belt and Angel Pagan both homered to support the 26-year-old Bumgarner, last year’s NLCS and World Series MVP.
Against the Padres, he almost added perfection to a dazzling resume that includes three championship rings.
“He was awesome and the night seemed special early on,” Belt said. “It’s one of those things you know will happen. We’re just waiting for it.”
The only perfect game in Giants history was tossed by teammate Matt Cain against Houston in June 2012.
Another longtime teammate, Tim Lincecum, pitched a no-hitter against San Diego in each of the past two seasons. And left-hander Jonathan Sanchez threw a no-hitter for the Giants versus the Padres on July 10, 2009.
San Francisco rookie Chris Heston had a no-hitter against the New York Mets on June 9.
Matt Kemp hit the ball hard twice for the Padres, and Pagan ran down a ball in right-center on a long fly by Justin Upton to open the fifth.
Derek Norris hit a sharp liner right to Kelby Tomlinson at second base for the second out of the seventh, and Bumgarner punched his hand into his glove in delight.
“I thought the ball to Tomlinson was more up the middle and I thought it would get through,” he said.
Justin Upton was denied a hit again leading off the eighth on a backhand play from deep in the shortstop hole by Ehire Adrianza.
Ian Kennedy (8-14) had a one-hitter going through 3 2-3 innings before walking Buster Posey and Belt, both of whom scored on Byrd’s double. Tomlinson followed with a triple and Adrianza singled to make it 4-0.
It never got better for Kennedy, who gave up Pagan’s fifth-inning homer, Alejandro De Aza’s triple, Belt’s RBI groundout and Byrd’s RBI single before being replaced.
Kennedy allowed seven runs and seven hits over 4 2-3 innings. He entered 11-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 24 starts against the Giants.
Belt added his career-best 18th home run in the seventh. He scored three times.
Byrd went 3 for 3 with a walk and is hitting .583 (14 for 24) since ending a 1-for-17 streak.
On a night when the Bay Area heat wave lifted for at least a day, San Francisco sported its “Gigantes” jerseys.