SAN FRANCISCO – Madison Bumgarner had been on his game all season, but he knew the balance beam was slenderer than ever Monday night.
He was facing Cliff Lee, remember. And all the Phillies’ left-hander did in his last start at AT&T Park was pitch 10 shutout innings against Matt Cain in a pitching staredown that hearkened to another era.
Lee did another believable Warren Spahn impression again. But Bumgarner was no Marichal. The Giants’ left-hander had his first rough start of the season and Lee held down everyone except former teammate Hunter Pence over eight innings as the Giants absorbed a series-opening 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bumgarner (3-1) took his first loss of the year as the Giants’ winning streak ended at six games.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner hadn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his first six starts, but the Phillies smashed through that ceiling by the second inning.
Bumgarner escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first before finding himself surrounded again in the second inning after John Mayberry singled, Erik Kratz singled on a ball that second baseman Marco Scutaro fumbled and Chase Utley drew a two-out walk.
Young followed by taking an outside fastball to the opposite field for a double that would’ve cleared the bases if Utley hadn’t fallen down between second and third. It made no matter, as Utley ended up scoring on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
Bumgarner wasn’t helped by a tight zone from plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, who received his share of hard stares and shouts from the Giants dugout.
He needed almost 50 pitches to make it through the first two innings but had found a groove before Young put him back in the stretch with a leadoff double in the fifth. Young advanced on a ground out, scored on a sacrifice fly and then Domonic Brown hit a towering home run that splashed down in McCovey Cove.
The solo shot was just the fourth homer Bumgarner had allowed all year. His final line: 6 innings, 5 runs (all earned), 8 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts and a home run on 100 pitches.
Bumgarner had gone 26 starts at AT&T Park while allowing no more than four runs – a streak that dated to July 6, 2011.
Chad Gaudin threw two scoreless innings but Jean Machi only retired one of the three batters he faced in the eighth, and that was on a sacrifice fly. Machi has thrown too well for one lackluster outing to send him back to Triple-A Fresno. But with left-hander Jose Mijares set to rejoin the roster on Tuesday, that’s the likely scenario.
At the plate
Strange but true: When Lee threw his 10 shutout innings here 13 months ago (in a game the Giants eventually won 1-0 in the 11th), Pence was among his Phillies teammates.
The Giants were glad to have Pence on their side this time. Lee failed to retire Pence, who had three of the Giants’ five hits and dug out his team-leading sixth home run in the second inning.
Pence singled in his next at-bat and he doubled in the eighth, later scoring on shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ throwing error.
The rest of the Giants lineup combined flailed away at Lee’s assortment of curves, cutters and fastballs. Pablo Sandoval struck out twice in a game for just the second time this season; when he finally made contact in the seventh, he grounded into a double play – one of three that Lee induced.
Lee didn’t throw a pitch from the stretch until Pence singled off him in the fifth.
The Giants ended the game with zero runners left on base – the first time that’s happened to them in five seasons. The previous game was a classic Greg Maddux start Sept. 27, 2008.
The Giants played errorless ball, but the official scorer initially charged Scutaro with an error when he fumbled while trying to flip for a force at second base in the second inning. The scorer changed it to a hit, which caused all three of Bumgarner’s runs in the inning to be earned.
The Giants were able to squeeze 41,171 into the surgery gallery to watch Cliff Lee slice and dice.
The Giants and Phillies continue their three-game series at AT&T Park Tuesday night. Tim Lincecum (2-1, 4.41 ERA) takes the mound against right-hander Kyle Kendrick (3-1, 2.43). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PDT.