SAN FRANCISCO — Madison Bumgarner doesn’t always like the big strikeout nights. Double-digit strikeouts can lead to a high pitch count, and above all Bumgarner prides himself on getting deep into games.
On Tuesday, he managed to have the best of both worlds. Bumgarner whiffed 12 Astros, including seven straight at one point, but induced enough quick outs to go the distance in a 3-1 win. Brandon Belt provided the necessary offense, twice hitting no-doubt homers off tough Astros left-hander Scott Kazmir.
Bumgarner gave up back-to-back hits to start the game, but when Jose Altuve was thrown out trying to take third, the lefty started a record-tying run. He struck out Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis to strand a runner in scoring position, then struck out the side in the second. Jake Marisnick and Kazmir went down to start the third, giving Bumgarner seven consecutive strikeouts. That tied the franchise’s San Francisco-era record, previously held by Jonathan Sanchez (2010) and Juan Marichal (1964).
Belt grabbed the spotlight in the middle innings, hitting a monstrous homer to center in the fourth and then a blast to left in the sixth. The first baseman has seven homers in August and 17 on the season, tying his career-high.
The bullpen got some action in the top of the eighth, but Bumgarner was allowed back out for the ninth. His 99th pitch got the first out of the inning and the next two outs came on liners to Belt and shortstop Brandon Crawford. The complete game was the eighth of Bumgarner's career.
Starting pitching report: The double-digit strikeout game was the fourth of the season for Bumgarner and the 23rd of his career.
Bullpen report: Make note of the fact that Sergio Romo, not Santiago Casilla, warmed up in the bottom of the eighth with the Giants holding a two-run lead.
At the plate: Of Belt’s last 10 hits, seven have gone over the fence.
In the field: Carlos Gomez robbed Matt Duffy of at least a double with a leaping catch at the wall in the first inning. Carlos Gomez really seemed to appreciate the catch by Carlos Gomez.
Attendance: Fans apparently weren’t that bothered by the Cubs series. The Giants announced a sellout crowd of 42,569.
Up next: Chris Heston had a brutal road trip, but he has a 2.57 ERA in 11 starts at home this season. The Astros will start Scott Feldman, a journeyman right-hander from Burlingame.