Giants’ bullpen stuck on ‘collapse’

AT&T PARK — It was the same movie for the third straight day.

The Giants bullpen collapsed late in the game and surrendered four runs in the eighth inning to lose 8-7 and suffer a sweep by the Colorado Rockies, something that hasn’t happened since 2008.

Juan Gutierrez (L, 1-2, 3.69 ERA) was the culprit for the eighth-inning meltdown as all four runs were charged to him.

Justin Morneau’s two-out, two-run, pinch-hit double on Javier Lopez, who came in to relieve Gutierrez, was the deciding blow that gave the Rockies the 8-7 lead.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Gutierrez had not allowed a run in AT&T Park all season. He said he’s going to try and have a “short memory” and put this outing behind him:

“Today was a bad day for us… I just want to continue to do what I’ve been doing out there. I just apologize to my team.”

This is the third consecutive game that the bullpen lost it for the Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged his struggling bullpen after Sunday’s loss:

“We had the lead all three games. The bullpen unraveled. … I’m not concerned. You know you’re going to have these tough times during the season. What’s important is how we deal with it and I was proud of the way the guys came out and played.”

Madison Bumgarner did a little bit of everything Sunday as he pitched seven innings with nine strikeouts, played stellar defense and slugged a home run to deep left field.

Bumgarner admitted it felt good to help his own cause with his fourth career home run. He realized he might have to start looking for other pitches against the Rockies, since that’s who three of his four homers have come off of:

“It was nice. It’s always positive when you can do anything to help yourself out at the plate. … I gotta learn how to hit some breaking balls I guess.”

The big lefty’s homer was his second of the season, which is tied for most in the majors by a pitcher. Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood also has two this year.

The Giants produced something that’s been elusive this home stand: Power. Hector Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning. Sanchez’s was of the pinch-hit variety after he took the place of Buster Posey.

Posey took a foul tip to the facemask from Michael McKenry off a Bumgarner fastball in the fourth inning. Bumgarner said he saw chipped pieces of Posey’s mask fly off after the hit.

Posey was taken out as a precaution.

He initially resisted leaving the game:

“As a competitor, you never want to come out, but when it comes to your head feels a little weird and taking a couple hard ones in the past three or four days, it was the right move.”

Posey suffered a previous blow to the face last week against the Washington Nationals.

He said he passed all his concussion tests after the game, but is unsure whether he’ll play Tuesday.

Matt Belisle (W, 2-2, 4.82 ERA) pitched a perfect seventh with one strikeout to notch the win. LaTroy Hawkins saved all three games of the series. He now has 14 on the year.

Manager Bruce Bochy was ejected from the game in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski after a Juan Perez strikeout.

The Giants have the day off Monday and will travel to Chicago for two games against the White Sox to start a five-game road trip. Matt Cain (1-4, 3.84 ERA) will go against lefty John Danks (5-5, 4.17 ERA) in Game 1 of the two-game series Tuesday.

Notes

This is the first time the Giants have been swept all season. … Today’s home run for Sanchez was the second pinch-hit home run of his career. He hit one last season on August 15 against the Washington Nationals. … This is the first losing home stand (4-6) the Giants have suffered all season.


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