SAN FRANCISCO -- After picking up his Silver Slugger Award on Friday evening, Madison Bumgarner turned toward the Dodgers dugout. He smiled at Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers ace smiled back. Bumgarner held the trophy up a bit to have a little fun with one of the players who served up a Bumgarner homer last year. Kershaw laughed and held his hand up around the letters, indicating that Bumgarner had simply taken advantage of a poorly located pitch.
Well, Kershaw did it again. He grooved a fastball and Bumgarner blasted it. Kershaw cursed on the mound as AT&T Park roared, and Bumgarner calmly jogged off his 12th career homer, which ties him with Yovani Gallardo for the most among active players.
The home dugout was electric and the fans were rocking ... and a couple hours later the Giants had to explain a bitter loss.
Santiago Casilla loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth and Kelby Tomlinson couldn't turn two on a one-out grounder, allowing the tying run to score. The Dodgers won 3-2 in extra innings.
"We're going against who could be the best pitcher in baseball, and here we have the lead with the closer out there," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's all you can ask for."
Bochy had Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford on the bench, and both would get into the game. Panik struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, the winning run on base. Crawford battled Kenley Jansen but was part of a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th. Afterward, Bochy said he never thought of putting either player in for the top of the ninth, which would have bolstered the infield defense at second.
"I have no reason to take Tommy out," he said. "You saw him last year play a good second base. I had no reason to think he wouldn't make that play. There are other things that came into play there."
Casilla issued a one-out walk -- "a lot of good things don't (generally) happen after that," Bochy said -- and then gave up a single to Yasiel Puig. Justin Turner was plunked, loading the bases. That's when Adrian Gonzalez, a plodder, hit a medium-speed ball right at Tomlinson. He dropped it, ending any hope of throwing to second, and got the out at first as the tying run scored. Bochy said he thought the ball was hit hard enough to turn two.
The ninth cost Bumgarner a win on a day when he allowed one run in six innings. He said he felt much better than in the opener in Milwaukee, and he certainly looked like his old self at the plate. Fifteen hitters have multiple regular-season homers against Kershaw, a list that includes guys like Troy Tulowitzki, Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt and Buster Posey. Bumgarner is now on it.
"My job is to go out there and pitch, that's what I was focused on," he said. "(But) I'm going to go up there to compete (at the plate)."
Kershaw learned that lesson the hard way again, and this time he adjusted. The kidding about fastballs is a thing of the past. In his next at-bat Bumgarner saw a steady stream of sliders and struck out.
--- In my updated Brandon Belt story, quotes and contract details. (I assume that Salt River Fields will not be on his no-trade list.)
--- Ehire Adrianza has two career homers, one against Kershaw today and one against Andy Pettitte at Yankee Stadium two years ago. That's a nice list.
--- The Giants have homered in six straight to start the season, matching their franchise record.
--- Bumgarner and Kershaw are friendly, and now they share an agent. Bumgarner joined Casey Close and J.D. Smart's group recently, and it was Smart who negotiated the Belt deal. That agency also got Kershaw $215 million, so, you know what to expect at some point down the line.