Giants lose fourth straight after 7th inning blast

Madison Bumgarner caught Paul Goldschmidt swinging with runners on the corners.

He pumped his fist, a rare sign of Bumgarner emotion, as Wednesday night’s ace-off went on, scoreless, to the sixth. Bumgarner knew what was going down:

“You know that it was shaking out to look like there weren’t going to be many runs scored.”

It was a low scoring night, but the DiamondBacks eventually scratched a little harder and grabbed the 2-1 win.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park.

The game stood at a stale mate on the Giants’ end with Zack Greinke dishing his best stuff (6-2/3 IP, 6H, 1ER, 7K) on the mound for Arizona for his first win on the season. Bruce Bochy saw this coming:

“We faced a tough guy, we figured it would be a close one. You don’t expect to score a lot of runs off Greinke.”

And that, they didn’t.

Bruce Bochy said after Tuesday night’s loss that a quality start would get things rolling for these listless Giants.

Bumgarner had that start sitting ready in his back pocket. He had to be nearly un-hittable, and for 4-2/3 innings he was.

Paul Goldschmidt, of course, took a 3-2 curveball to left for the DiamondBacks’ first hit of the game. It had to be Goldschmidt.

Bumgarner was straight dealing, his fastball was moving and his breaking stuff was stifling. He struck out eight in seven innings of work.

But one mistake in the 7th inning gave him the loss to shoulder. Yasmany Tomas notched a leadoff single and Welington Castillo launched a fastball deep to left to seal the Diamondbacks’ two runs.

Castillo made the only adjustment the Diamondbacks needed that night, Bumgarner’s high fastball had been eluding him all night:

“I felt pretty good about the pitch I made to Castillo. It could have been higher. The high fastball had been working most of the night, or maybe it wasn’t quite high enough, or maybe he made an adjustment. I was more upset about the pitch before that to put Tomas on, was throwing backdoor cutter and it ran all the way back across the plate.”

On paper this was just what the Giants offense needed: a lot of room to breathe. They had that quality start Bochy said would get things rolling out of their .105 BA with runners in scoring position funk.

Instead, the Giants went 1-for-11 with runners ready to get home. Though they did manage to crack their 20-inning scoreless streak in the seventh when Angel Pagan capitalized on a Gregor Blanco one-out triple. Said Bochy of the offensive drought:

“You gotta keep going. This is a tough part of the game, but this is a tough squad.”

Brandon Crawford shed some light on the situation:

“We are getting guys in scoring position and eventually we’ll get those guys in.”

They’d cracked the DiamondBacks’ sliver of a lead to one run, the Mount Everest of a lead in Greinke-land. There was no way to climb any farther.

Matt Duffy, who bounced back out of a little slump with a two-double night, gave his offense one last opportunity to rally in the ninth.

But Brad Ziegler stuffed Gregor Blanco and pinch hitter Trevor Brown to end that threat. Bochy said of Duffy’s effort:

“That’s what it’s going to take, three or four guys need to get going.”

The Giants have now lost four straight, so that ‘big hit’ is pretty ripe, hanging fruit at this point.

San Francisco has a good matchup Thursday, with Johnny Cueto pitching opposite a struggling Shelby Miller, and will try to prevent a four-game sweep at home.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.