Madison Bumgarner exits early after being hit by line drive

San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner exits game against Cardinals after left arm struck

ORACLE PARK — San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner left Saturday’s against the St. Louis Cardinals at the start of the third inning, after after taking a first-inning line drive off the back of his left arm.

The ace left-hander was struck just above the left elbow by a 98.3-mph shot by Jose Martinez with no outs and a man on in the first, and seemed more annoyed than anything as manager Bruce Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner came out to check on him. Bumgarner threw three warmup pitches and lobbied successfully to stay in the game.

He went on to throw 30 pitches in the inning, allowing one run on three hits and striking out two to pass Tim Lincecum for second place on the franchise’s West Coast career strikeout leaderboard. His final pitch of the inning — a 92-mph fastball to fan Dexter Fowler — was his 19th after being struck. It was his 1,706th career strikeout, two more than Lincecum K’d with San Francisco.

Bumgarner, sporting a bright red welt on his left triceps, went on to throw a quick nine-pitch second, and hit for himself in the third wearing a black compression sleeve, along with his traditional elbow guard. He made the walk out to the mound in the top of the third, only to be removed by Bochy and Groeschner.

With the trade deadline looming at the end of the month, and Bumgarner — San Francisco’s most valuable trade piece — likely to start the second half for the Giants when they visit Milwaukee, it may very well be one of Bumgarner’s last starts at Oracle Park, if not his last. Bumgarner — now fourth overall in strikeouts in franchise (NY and SF) history — left to a standing ovation, and was relieved by Sam Dyson. It was the nine-year anniversary of Bumgarner’s first MajorLeague win.

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