As long as Madison Bumgarner was on the mound, the San Francisco Giants appeared in control of Monday night’s game against the visiting San Diego Padres. Shortly after he left the game, the Giants’ cozy 5-2 lead had tightened to a 5-4 nailbiter.
The Giants managed to hold on for a one-run victory, but not before the Padres nearly prevented Bumgarner from earning his first home win of the season.
More from Buster Posey
- SF Giants: Buster Posey progressing well after foul tip
- Three SF Giants finalists to be All-Star Game starters
- SF Giants: 3 reasons they will win the National League West
- SF Giants players and coaches as Star Wars characters
- SF Giants Podcast: Mike Tauchman in, La Stella down, more
Padres right fielder Matt Kemp led off the eighth inning with a double off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. Melvin Upton Jr. followed with a single, putting runners on the corners, with no outs. Then one out and an Upton stolen base later, shortstop Alexei Ramirez singled to score Kemp.
The Padres rally soon fizzled, though, as Manager Bruce Bochy made two more pitching changes to stymy San Diego’s hitters. Josh Osich came for one batter, striking out Padres second baseman Jemile Weeks for the second out, then gave way to closer Santiago Casilla, who finished off the eighth with a strikeout of pinch hitter Jose Pirela. Casilla proceeded to shut down the Padres in the ninth to earn a four-out save.
That helped preserve Bumgarner’s best overall night of the young season: He earned the win after giving up two runs on six hits while striking out nine.
The Giants hitters had a productive night, as well, tallying 16 baserunners through 12 hits and four walks, while chasing Padres starter Drew Pomeranz from the game in the fifth inning. Pomeranz entered the night with a 2.04 ERA in his first three starts.
Hunter Pence and Buster Posey each hit solo home runs, and Angel Pagan continued in his unlikely role as the Giants most valuable player, racking up three hits to raise his average to .356, while knocking in two runs to give him 11 RBI for the season.
Joe Panik continued his impressive start to the season, going 3-for-5 with a triple—his third of the season, to go along with three doubles and three home runs.
With the win, the Giants improved to 10-11, bringing them within 2½ games of the first-place Dodgers. The loss dropped San Diego to 7-13, further anchoring their position at the division’s bottom.