video thumbnail

COL@SF: Bumgarner launches a grand slam to left field

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner did it all Friday night at AT&T Park.

While it wasn't surprising to see the lefty go six innings in a winning effort, Bumgarner had the ballpark rocking after his fourth-inning grand slam, which propelled the Giants to a 6-5 win over the visiting Rockies.

"That's quite a night," manager Bruce Bochy said with a smile.

Bumgarner has developed a reputation as a hard-hitting pitcher throughout his career, but he completely outdid himself against Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa.

In his first at-bat, Bumgarner brought fans out of their seats as he lifted one high in the air to left field, sending Carlos Gonzalez to the warning track for a long sacrifice fly that scored Brandon Crawford from third base. The next inning, Bumgarner hit a no-doubt shot to the left-field bleachers on the first pitch he saw, clearing the loaded bases and giving himself a nice 6-3 lead.

"I'm just thankful to run into something and score some runs for us," Bumgarner said. "It's a good ballclub they got, all the talent they got. They've really got some good hitters in there and good pitching."

It marked the first grand slam by a Giants pitcher since Shawn Estes did the deed on May 24, 2000. With his five-RBI night, Bumgarner has driven in more runs than San Francisco regulars Pablo Sandoval (four) and Hunter Pence (three) have all season.

Upon learning of his production compared to the two key Giants sluggers, Bumgarner laughed.

"I hadn't really thought about it," Bumgarner said. "I'm sure it won't last long."

Still, he left something to be desired on the mound. Struggling with location, Bumgarner was knocked around early by the Rockies, who sent six men to the plate in the first inning while scoring the game's first run. Gonzalez added another big blow in the third when he recorded a no-doubt two-run home run into McCovey Cove, his fifth career long ball against Bumgarner, the most by any player.

"He wasn't quite as sharp [on the mound]," Bochy said, "but he found a way to win that game and he did it with the bat tonight. Good for him."

Bumgarner's counterpart, De La Rosa, didn't even make it out of the fifth inning thanks to Bumgarner's contributions with the bat. De La Rosa was charged with six earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six.

"Command got away from him, it looked like," Colorado skipper Walt Weiss said. "He got some balls up and out over the plate."

The Rockies also tacked on another run in the sixth with a pair of doubles by Jordan Pacheco and Charlie Culberson, but Bumgarner gave himself enough support to earn his second win of the year. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out seven, saying he felt strong in the last two innings of his outing.

But all the buzz in the home clubhouse after the game was about his grand slam, the first by a Major League pitcher since Travis Wood hit one for the Chicago Cubs on May 30 of last year.

"Feels great," Bumgarner said. "Couldn't have happened at a better time. Not really having it out there, anything extra you can do to win the game. I've got to be happy with it."

With his well-known batting-practice power displays, Bumgarner said he's "definitely more of a five o'clock hitter than a seven." And as far as his preparation for batting, it doesn't sound like he has many secrets.

"All this hitting stuff is over my head," said Bumgarner, who raised his career batting average to .145. "I'm just trying to see the little white thing out there and hit it."

With two run-producing plate appearances to start the game, Bumgarner jokingly approached Bochy in the dugout to lobby for a third at-bat in the bottom of the sixth, but Ehire Adrianza entered the game as a pinch-hitter to end the southpaw's evening.

Bumgarner's blast gave the Giants a three-run lead, but the Rockies wouldn't go away. They scored one again in the eighth to bring the score to 6-5, setting up closer Sergio Romo with an intense ninth-inning save situation.

A day after battling through stomach pains, Romo said he felt fine. He looked filthy, too, striking out three straight batters looking to end the game, including a final punchout of pinch-hitting Colorado star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

"Got the job done," Romo said after picking up his third save of the year. "That's what's up."

AT&T Park has become something of a house of horrors for the Rockies in recent years. With Friday night's victory, the Giants have now won 14 of the past 16 home meetings against their National League West foe. Comments