SAN FRANCISCO -- When Bruce Bochy said he wanted to see his starters go deep, this isn't exactly what he had in mind.
Madison Bumgarner hit his third homer of the season Saturday, providing the early offense in a 2-1 win over the A's. He also went deep in a more traditional way, shaking off a high pitch count in the first few innings to get the Giants through the seventh inning. The homers are nice and all, but Bumgarner is paid to pitch, and after three straight starts of fewer than six innings, he was happy to be able to hand the ball directly to Sergio Romo.
"You want to go out there and -- at the minimum -- go six," Bumgarner said. "Today wasn't looking real good early, but we were able to get some quick outs."
Bumgarner was at 71 pitches through four and at 84 pitches after the fifth, but he needed just 17 over the next two innings. The Giants had a one-run lead at the time, thanks to Bumgarner and rookie Matt Duffy, who broke a tie with an RBI single in the sixth. The big blow came early, when Bumgarner jumped on a sinker from Chris Bassitt and hit his ninth career homer. He's one homer away from becoming the sixth pitcher in franchise history to reach double-digit homers in his career, and you figure it won't be long before Bumgarner joins that club.
"You know," Bochy said. "He's dangerous."
Bassitt didn't realize that in time. He was focused on keeping Bumgarner off of first.
“It was just an awkward thing where I was saying, ‘Don’t walk him, don’t walk him.’ And I grooved a fastball right down the middle," Bassitt said. "Obviously he can hit a little bit.”
Bumgarner had fouled the previous pitch off his knee and said he was just trying to stay inside the ball.
"I was able to make the adjustment," he said.
--- It has now been a month since Bochy put Duffy in front of Buster Posey, and with the exception of a game he sat, Duffy has been the No. 3 hitter. Did Bochy really expect him to take the job and run with it?
"I did," he said. "I just like the way he battles up there and uses the whole field. He's got a good eye at the plate. He's a tough out. You like that speed in the three-hole."
Duffy passed Joc Pederson on the rookie RBI list. He's behind only Kris Bryant at this point.
--- Joe Panik's last 13 games: .377 average, 13 runs.
--- Santiago Casilla was a little shaky, but he recorded his 25th save. That ties his career-high. Bochy didn't have anyone warming up as Casilla put the go-ahead runner on.
"He's our guy," he said. "You put your closer out there and that's where you sit back and watch. You have your guys in their roles. He is our closer."