San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner beats Atlanta Braves with arm and bat

By Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange  |  June 3, 2016 at 3:15 AM
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ATLANTA -- Madison Bumgarner will miss pitching and hitting at Turner Field.

Bumgarner smashed the first of San Francisco's three fifth-inning homers and allowed just four hits over 7 2/3 innings as the Giants salvaged a split of their four-game series against the Atlanta Braves with a 6-0 victory Thursday.

"It's pretty cool," Bumgarner said of his 13th career homer. "But I'm getting paid to pitch, not hit."

Bumgarner (7-2) struck out 11 and walked two in winning his sixth straight decision and lowering his ERA to 1.91.

"It was right up there at the top," catcher Buster Posey said when asked to rate left-hander's pitching effort. "He was really sharp."

Posey, who hit the Giants' third homer, is from Georgia and Bumgarner, from North Carolina, also always has a lot of family and friends at games in Atlanta.

"He loves coming here," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's had some great memories, he and Buster both. ... They've done very well here."

Including a victory in the deciding game of the 2010 National League Division Series, Bumgarner finished 4-1 at Turner Field.

The Braves move into a new ballpark next year.

The homer by Bumgarner, a long blast into the left-field seats, was his second of the season and his career total of 13 is the most by an active pitcher.

The teams had a short turnaround after the Braves' 11-inning victory Wednesday night and Bumgarner's homer gave the Giants (34-22) a need jolt.

"No question he got us going," Bochy said of Bumgarner's blast. "The boys woke up after that."

Joe Panik and Posey followed with two-run shots to chase Braves rookie starter Aaron Blair.

Blair allowed just one homer in his first six starts, but the Giants (34-22) went deep three times in five batters. All came on first pitches as Blair fell to 0-4 with a 7.55 ERA.

"He lost his feel and left pitches up," catcher Tyler Flowers said. "We got away with it the inning before."

Bumgarner connected after a leadoff walk by Gregor Blanco. Panik's sixth homer followed a walk to Denard Span and Posey connected for his eighth after Matt Duffy was hit by a pitch.

It was just the fourth time since the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958 that they hit three homers in the same inning and first time with a trio of two-run blasts.

The Braves (16-37) could muster only two hits against Bumgarner after failing to cash in a first-inning threat.

Freddie Freeman followed a single by Chase d'Arnaud with a ground-rule double in the first inning, but Bumgarner struck out Jeff Francoeur and Adonis Garcia to run his dominance with runners in scoring to 1-for-28 over seven starts.

"For most starters, the first inning is the toughest," Bumgarner said. "It was good to put up a zero there."

Freeman was impressed with Bumgarner's performance.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the game and he definitely showed it today," said Freeman, who had hit a walk-off homer the previous night.

The Braves are 7-9 under interim manager Brian Snitker, who replaced Fredi Gonzalez on May 17.

Brandon Belt had a pair of doubles and a walk for the Giants. The first baseman has 12 hits in his last 22 at bats, with two home runs.

The story, though, was Bumgarner.

"Another outstanding job by him," Bochy said. "He's just in a good groove right now."

NOTES: The Giants placed RF Hunter Pence, hurt running out a grounder Wednesday, on the disabled list with what is likely a severe right hamstring strain. He had tweaked the same hamstring in May, keeping him out of the lineup for six games. ... OF Mac Williamson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to take Pence's roster spot. ... Braves INF Gordon Beckham, who strained his left hamstring while also running to first base Wednesday, was put on the disabled list for the second time this season. ... OF/INF Brandon Snyder was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett by the Braves. ... The Giants conclude their road trip with a weekend series in St. Louis. RHP Johnny Cueto (8-1, 2.31 ERA) will start Friday's game. ... RHP Julio Teheran (1-5, 2.77 ERA) will start for the Braves as they open a road trip Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

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