The San Francisco Giants took the series but couldn’t sweep their Southern California rivals on Thursday afternoon as they fell to the Dodgers 2-1 at AT&T Park.
The Giants sent ace Madison Bumgarner to the hill, and the starter had trouble with the strikezone on Thursday afternoon. While he struck out six through 4.1 innings, he also walked three and struggled to hide his frustration after his pitches.
“I feel like I made the pitches, but didn’t get them,” said Bumgarner.
Los Angeles ran up Bumgarner’s pitch count early, racking the total up to 47 after just two innings. In the second inning, Los Angeles broke ground as Scott Van Slyke walked, then later scored on a single to center from Tim Fedorwicz. In the fourth, Van Slyke doubled to right to begin a rally that loaded the bases, but Bumgarner was able to escape unscathed.
The second Dodgers’ run came in the fifth inning, when Justin Turner doubled to left and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single. That second run came on Bumgarner’s 99th pitch, and the Giants ace was forced to come out.
“Obviously you want to stay later in the game,” he said. “It’s been tough not making it farther.”
Yusmeiro Petit came in for the starter, and continued San Francisco’s bullpen dominance. The righty went 2.2 scoreless innings without giving up a hit. Jeremy Affeldt followed and fit right back in with the rest of the pen, giving up just one double over two innings in his return to the mound.
Bumgarner’s opponent, Hyun-Jin Ryu, held the Giants to just four hits and kept them scoreless through seven innings. San Francisco’s first two hits came from Hunter Pence, who bumped up his average to .206 after his 2-for-3 day with a walk.
Ryu was able to silence the Giants offense, including Pablo Sandoval, who struggled in his 0-for-4 game with two strikeouts. The Giants’ third baseman is now hitting .175 on the season, but manager Bruce Bochy stood by his guy.
“It’s human nature for these guys, they don’t get off to a good start, they’re not getting their numbers, they’re looking up there and they’re hitting .180, whatever, I don’t know what he’s hitting,” said Bochy. [Note: he was hitting .180 at one point today]. “Maybe I’ll drop him down in the order and take some pressure off him.”
Ryu was taken out in the eighth inning, after 112 pitches, and that’s when the Giants began to show some life.Former closer Brian Wilson returned to the hill to different warmup music, as boos and “Don’t Stop Believing” flooded AT&T Park. He gave up a leadoff double to Ehire Adrianza, and a walk to Hunter Pence, but was able to keep San Francisco scoreless.
The Giants threatened once again in the ninth inning against Kenley Jansen, as a dropped third strike, fielder’s choice and walk put Brandon Belt on second base for Adrianza. The rookie’s single to center was able to put a run on the board, but it wasn’t enough as the Dodgers took the win.
“We had them on the ropes there in the eighth and ninth,” said Bochy. “We had the right guys up there and that’s all you can ask for.”
Adrianza proved to be a bright spot for the Giants with the best game of his major league career. He had nice day of the bench, going 3-for-3 with late inning production.
“He’s probably had the toughest role of anybody, pinch hitting against tough pitching. For a young kid that’s accustomed to getting to three or four at-bats a game, he threw out a very nice game,” Bochy. “I need to find a way to get him a few more starts.”
Today marked the seventh consecutive game decided by one run played by the Giants. Their nine one-run contests are currently first in the Majors.
San Francisco finished their first homestand with a 5-4 record and are now 10-6 overall. They’ll travel down to Petco and begin a weekend series against the San Diego Padres tomorrow night. Matt Cain will look to build off his last start against Colorado as he takes on the Padres’ Tyson Ross, who is coming off his own seven-inning gem of an outing against the Detroit Tigers.
First pitch at 7:10pm.