OAKLAND — Trouble hit quickly for Dillon Overton on Thursday, and there was no applying the brakes.
The Giants tagged the A’s rookie for six runs over a six-batter stretch in the top of the third, which told the story in a 12-6 San Francisco victory that denied the A’s a four-game sweep of the Bay Bridge Series.
Making his just his second career start, Overton’s Coliseum debut included back-to-back homers by Buster Posey (three-run shot) and Brandon Crawford, and eight earned runs total over three-plus innings.
But the turbulence began with a double from the man whose at-bats were must-see viewing simply because of the circumstances. Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner batted ninth for the Giants, the first time a team intentionally used a pitcher to hit instead of a DH since 1976.
Bumgarner led off the third with a double to right-center that Billy Burns couldn’t haul in on the run. That set in motion a rally in which the Giants scored six times and sent 10 men to the plate total, with Bumgarner eventually making the third out on a pop-up in his second plate appearance of the inning.
Overton overcame three solo homers in his big league debut Saturday night to beat the Los Angeles Angels. But A’s manager Bob Melvin wound up having to go to his short-handed bullpen early in this one.
Meanwhile, Bumgarner (9-4) gave up four runs over 6 1/3 innings to get the victory and reverse some bad history at the Coliseum. He entered with a 1-2 record and 6.41 ERA in three previous starts in Oakland.
Since interleague play began in 1997, neither the A’s nor the Giants have swept a season series from each other. But the A’s can feel good about taking three of four from a team that came in as the major leagues’ hottest when the series began.
Starting pitching report
Overton (1-1) gave up just two home runs in 83 2/3 innings with Triple-A Nashville, but he’s surrendered five in the first 8 2/3 innings of his major league career.
After Bumgarner’s leadoff double in the third, Overton walked Denard Span and allowed Angel Pagan’s bloop single to load the bases. Brandon Belt followed with a ground-rule double that scored two. Then Posey hit a 1-0 pitch into the camera well beyond the center field wall for a three-run homer. On the very next pitch, Crawford lined a homer to right field to make it 6-1. Overton allowed consecutive doubles to Span and Pagan in the fourth to score a run, and Crawford’s run scoring single off Andrew Triggs was charged to Overton and made it 8-1.
Triggs and Daniel Coulombe, called up earlier in the day, turned in solid work, combining for five innings and keeping the Giants off the board for the rest of their time on the mound. But things turned ugly in the ninth as the Giants added four more to push their lead to 12-4. Fernando Rodriguez simply couldn’t locate the strike zone. He issued five walks, including two with the bases loaded, forcing Melvin to call on Marc Rzepczynski to eventually get the third out.
At the plate
Marcus Semien hit his 16th homer, establishing a new career high, in the first off Bumgarner. Yonder Alonso lined a two-run shot to right in the seventh for his second homer in as many nights. That closed the gap to 8-4. But the A’s couldn’t generate the sustained rallies that marked their victories in the first three games of the series.
In the field
Burns didn’t have a great inning in center in the top of the third. He ran down Bumgarner’s drive to the gap but had it hit off his glove and touch the ground for a double. On Brandon Belt’s two-run double three batters later, Burns got turned around going back on it. It wound up bouncing over the wall for a ground-rule double, though it’s debatable whether he could have gotten to it even with a good jump.
A sellout crowd of 36,067 was on hand.
Interleague play continues at the Coliseum as the Pittsburgh Pirates visit for three games over the weekend. Friday — Sonny Gray (3-6, 5.03) vs. Jeff Locke (7-5, 5.12), 7:05 p.m. Saturday — Rich Hill (8-3, 2.25) is set to come off the DL vs. Chad Kuhl (1-0, 5.40), 7:05 p.m. Sunday — Daniel Mengden (1-3, 2.81) vs. Francisco Liriano (4-8, 5.33), 1:05 p.m. All three games will air on CSN California.