SAN FRANCISCO – The sellout crowds at Third and King waited months for the kind of earth-moving, three-run home run that Michael Morse hit in the fourth inning Friday night. The Giants have literally waited months – two of them, to be exact – to watch Madison Bumgarner do something as simple as throw a quality start at home.
They got both contributions, but not a victory.
Jeremy Affeldt picked a very inconvenient time to give up his first home run to a left-handed hitter in more than three years, the Philadelphia Phillies forced extra innings and Chase Utley took one for the team – or at least, his pants did – after Javier Lopez’s pitch ruffled polyester with the bases loaded in the 10th.
The Phillies tacked on a sacrifice fly and the Giants couldn’t answer in what became a 5-3, 10-inning loss at AT&T Park.
Even with Morse and Bumgarner providing some nice retro memories of better times, the Giants still failed to win consecutive home games. They haven’t done that since June 7-8.
They also fell to 12-4 in games when Morse hits a home run.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner entered with a 5.60 ERA in 11 home starts vs. a 1.72 ERA on the road, and if it wasn’t rattling him, at the minimum it was on his mind.
This time Bumgarner was nearly as good at home as he was July 23 at Philadelphia, when he tossed eight shutout innings.
He yielded a solo homer to Marlon Byrd in the fifth inning but nothing more while holding the Phillies to four hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. It was his first quality start at home since June 10.
Bumgarner retired the side in five of his seven innings. He had movement with every pitch in his arsenal and struck out four in the first two innings, but it was his fastball that made the difference.
He was in a jam in the fourth inning after a pair of one-out singles. But Jimmy Rollins tried to catch Bumgarner napping and took off for third base while the pitcher held the ball on the mound. Bumgarner threw high to third base but Pablo Sandoval’s foot kept Rollins from sliding directly into the base, providing just enough time to apply the tag. The Phillies challenged the out call and were denied by replay officials. Bumgarner still had to contend with Ryan Howard, and threw a full-count, 93 mph fastball that blew him away to end the inning.
Bumgarner threw 110 pitches, 77 for strikes, and handed a 3-1 lead over to Affeldt.
Affeldt gave up two runs last weekend in Kansas City but had been unscored upon in 15 of 16 outings as he entered the game in the eighth inning.
It took just two batters to ruin Bumgarner’s decision, though. Darin Ruf singled and Cody Asche hit a two-run home run that landed in the right field arcade. It was the first home run Affeldt allowed this season, and amazingly, the first to a left-handed batter since April 24, 2011 (Jason Heyward).
Some perspective: Affeldt had allowed a home run to Hunter Pence more recently than he had allowed one to a left-handed hitter.
Santiago Casilla threw a wild pitch and issued a walk in the ninth, but stranded two runners in scoring position. The Giants couldn’t get through the 10th unscathed, though. Asche hit a leadoff double, then Javier Lopez entered and failed in a bid to cut down the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt. The Phillies didn’t test Pagan’s arm in center field on a fly out, but Jimmy Rollins drew a walk to load the bases and Utley was a statue as Lopez’s first pitch brushed his uniform near his knee. Howard followed with a deep drive that Gregor Blanco ranged back to catch and keep to a sacrifice fly. The damage had been done, though.
At the plate
Morse hit two home runs in June. He hit two in July. Every one of his eight hits in August had been a single. And he looked plenty displeased when he made a deep out in the second inning. But Cole Hamels threw him a 2-1 changeup for his 16th home run of the season, and just his third since June 6.
He became the first Giant to hit a three-run home run at AT&T Park since May 23 (although Bumgarner and Buster Posey hit grand slams more recently).
The Giants collected at least one hit in each of Hamels’ seven innings, which was an accomplishment given the way he dominated them over eight innings last month at Philadelphia.
They only scored on Morse’s homer, though. They threw away another chance in the sixth after Morse drew a leadoff walk, pinch runner Gregor Blanco went from first to third on Joe Panik’s single and Brandon Crawford bunted back to the mound. Blanco broke on contact and Hamels ran him down himself before applying the tag.
Pagan hit a leadoff double in the seventh but was caught running on first move. The Giants threatened in the eighth but more bad baserunning derailed another inning. Sandoval singled and Blanco’s pop-up bunt landed between the diving attempts of catcher and pitcher. It might have turned into a hit, but Blanco didn’t hustle out of the box. Panik followed with a single to right field, and with two outs, Tim Flannery sent Sandoval home. He was out by at least 20 feet following Byrd’s accurate throw to the plate.
Facing Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 10th, the heart of the order went out with a whimper. Pence, Posey and Sandoval grounded out.
Let’s tip our caps to the groundskeepers, who replaced over 25,000 square feet of sod after the Beyonce concert. That’s almost a third of the field’s total surface area.
With an official crowd of 41,425, the Giants extended their streak of announcing sellouts to 308 consecutive regular-season games.
The Giants and Phillies continue their three-game series on Saturday at AT&T Park. Tim Hudson (8-9, 2.91 ERA) takes the mound against Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.88). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PDT.