Going seven-and-two-thirds innings, striking out 12 while not allowing a single walk, Bumgarner held the Astros to one earned run as San Francisco doubled up Houston 6-3.
If Bumgarner’s pitching didn’t cause enough problems for Houston, he added to their misery by crushing a home run to left field in the bottom of the third inning, a solo shot that tied the game at 1-1.
Joining in the long-ball parade, Brandon Belt smashed a two-run shot to right field in the eighth inning. For a team that’s hit one home run in their last 22 games at home, the two home runs were vastly overdue.
Speaking after the game to NBC Bay Area, Bochy commented on the home runs and the recent drought, saying, “We’re not a club that’s going to hit a lot of home runs, we know it. But I do think we will hit more than we have been hitting.”
Belt’s home run was his first of the season, while Bumgarner’s solo shot was the first of his career.
The Giant’s players knew it was Bumgarner’s first home run and decided to initiate the 22-year-old pitcher, playfully giving him the silent treatment when he came back to the dugout. After a few moments they mobbed Bumgarner with hive-fives and hugs.
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Asked after the game about the silent treatment from his teammates, Bumgarner joked:
They’ve been giving me crap since the first day here since I haven’t hit one. I was just about to give up on it, but ran into one finally ... I just swing hard in case I accidentally hit something.
The other big hit of the game was a two-RBI single by Brandon Crawford in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Brandon Crawford hit a one-two pitch up the middle, putting the Giants up by two runs. Crawford is now batting .400 (4-10), with 13 RBI in his career with the bases loaded.
The hit also made up for a throwing error Crawford made an inning before, which allowed the Astros to score their first run.
Bumgarner wouldn’t allow another run to score until the eighth inning, surrendering a leadoff single and then a one-out double to score the Astros' second run. The pen would allow another run in the ninth, but Santiago Casilla came on and shut it down to earn his 17th save.
With the win Bumgarner won his third-straight decision, improving his record to 8-3 on the season, while lowering his ERA to 3.08. Bumgarner loves to pitch at home, as he has posted a 13-2 record, with an ERA just about 2.00, in his last 16 starts at AT&T Park, dating back to June 26th, 2011.
More importantly, the Giants have won 14 of Bumgarner’s last 16 starts at home.
Note: The last Giants pitcher to record at least 10 K's in a start and hit a home run was Mike Krukow on August 13th, 1985.
Tomorrow the Giants send their ace, Matt Cain (7-2) to the mound to face Astros lefty J.A. Happ (4-6). Game time is 7:15 p.m.