PITTSBURGH — Marlon Byrd glanced across the clubhouse Friday afternoon and said he was looking forward to no longer facing Madison Bumgarner. Their first night as teammates was a smashing success.
Byrd homered in his first at-bat as a Giant and added two more hits. Bumgarner homered in his first at-bat and added a strong effort on the mound on the mound. It added up to a much-needed 6-4 win at PNC Park for the Giants, who are 2-3 on their trip against the National League’s two best teams.
Byrd hit a two-run shot in a three-run first inning for the Giants. Hitting fifth and playing right field, he singled in the third and then lashed a double in the fifth. Bumgarner had homered in his last start, a shutout of of the Washington Nationals. He came up with a runner on second in the second inning and blasted a 418-foot no-doubter to left.
It took a while for Bumgarner to settle in on the mound, however, and he gave up two runs in the first two innings while throwing 51 pitches. He retired 12 straight from the third through sixth, but the relentless Pirates knocked him out in the seventh.
Starting pitching report: Bumgarner was charged with three earned in 6 1/3. He has given up five runs in August. He has driven in four runs in August.
Bullpen report: Sergio Romo got Bumgarner out of a jam in the seventh but gave a run back in the eighth. It was the first run allowed by Romo since the All-Star break.
At the plate: Bumgerner’s homer was his fifth of the season, the most ever by a San Francisco Giants pitcher. He’s the first pitcher to hit five homers in a season since Carlos Zambrano hit six in 2006 and is two away from reaching Mike Hampton’s (seven in 2001) high for the last 20 years.
In the field: Matt Duffy easily handled two sneaky-tough grounders in the sixth and then snagged a high line drive with a leaping grab. This came a night after he made an athletic play on a check-swing bouncer down the line. It’s been a pretty spectacular series already for a guy who didn’t play third base until this spring.
Attendance: The home crowd was deafening when the first two batters reached in the seventh. The two loudest crowds I’ve heard outside of AT&T Park: Kansas City and Pittsburgh (unless Crawford hits a grand slam).
Up next: Mike Leake makes his second start as a Giant after missing three turns with a hamstring strain. He’ll face Pirates ace Gerrit Cole.