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Bumgarner's 2-run HR, late rally not enough

Giants ace allows grand slam to Dodgers' Bellinger
@mi_guardado
April 3, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Madison Bumgarner breathed some life into the Giants’ offense with his bat, but it wasn’t enough to make up for missteps on the mound in a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The ace left-hander crushed a two-run home run off Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Madison Bumgarner breathed some life into the Giants’ offense with his bat, but it wasn’t enough to make up for missteps on the mound in a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The ace left-hander crushed a two-run home run off Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu to put the Giants on the board in the sixth inning, but he was charged with the loss after yielding five unearned runs over six innings in his second start of the year.

The Giants made it interesting by scoring three runs in the ninth off Dodgers relievers Yimi Garcia and Kenley Jansen, but Pablo Sandoval grounded into a double play with the tying run on third to end the game.

“The guys battled back,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s a shame how it ended. That ball just missed getting through there. They just turned a good double play on us. It’s a tough way to end it.”

The Dodgers took an early lead against Bumgarner by scoring five runs in the third inning, highlighted by Cody Bellinger’s grand slam.

Bumgarner didn’t do himself any favors, as he allowed Russell Martin to reach on an error after fielding a dribbler out in front of the mound and firing a low throw that first baseman Brandon Belt couldn’t dig out. Bumgarner followed with a four-pitch walk to Ryu, putting runners on first and second with no outs.

Enrique Hernandez opened the scoring with an RBI single to center field, improving to 21-for-42 (.500) against Bumgarner in his career. Bumgarner retired Justin Turner and Corey Seager before yielding a single to A.J. Pollock that loaded the bases with two outs. That brought up Bellinger, who hammered a 1-0 cutter over the center-field fence to make it 5-0.

“The first three innings of the game, I had no feel,” Bumgarner said. “That’s as lost as I’ve felt out there in a long time, as far as command. I had a really hard time getting in the strike zone, much less commanding the strike zone.”

The Giants mustered only one hit against Ryu -- a second-inning single from Buster Posey -- through the first five innings, but Bumgarner broke up his shutout bid in the sixth. After Gerardo Parra reached on a single, Bumgarner launched a 1-0 cutter from Ryu halfway up the left-center-field bleachers to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2.

Bumgarner leads all active Major League pitchers with 18 career home runs, four of which have come against the Dodgers.

“It was good to kind of put something back there,” Bumgarner said. “It was such a big blow there in the third, though. That’s tough for any team to come back from. But we almost did. It was nice to chip in and help get some of those back.”

The Giants threatened in the ninth after Evan Longoria doubled and Posey walked, prompting Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to bring in Jansen to face Brandon Crawford.

Crawford kept the rally alive by reaching on an error after Max Muncy and Jansen mishandled a potential double-play ball, loading the bases with no outs.

Yangervis Solarte cut the deficit to 6-3 with a bases-loaded walk, and Parra pulled the Giants within one with a two-run single. Bochy sent up Sandoval to pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot, but he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Pillar debuts

New outfielder Kevin Pillar made his Giants debut after pinch-hitting for reliever Nick Vincent in the eighth inning. Pillar, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for right-handers Juan De Paula and Derek Law and infielder Alen Hanson on Tuesday, struck out swinging against Caleb Ferguson, but he fulfilled a childhood dream by playing in his first game at Dodger Stadium.

A Southern California native, Pillar grew up a Dodgers fan and attended games at Chavez Ravine with his family during his youth.

“It wasn’t the fairytale ending I was hoping for, but it was obviously nice to get out there and get my feet wet in a new uniform,” Pillar said. “I’m looking forward to contributing.”

Duggar tests surgically repaired shoulder

Center fielder Steven Duggar was prevented from diving for balls in Spring Training after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in September, but the restriction was lifted at the beginning of the regular season. Duggar made his first post-surgery dive in the seventh to take a hit away from Turner, who was forced to settle for a sacrifice fly that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-2. Duggar landed on his left shoulder, but he seemed fine afterward.

Sound smart

Down in San Diego, D-backs right-hander Zack Greinke had his own memorable performance at the plate, crushing a pair of home runs against the Padres. The three home runs hit by pitchers on Tuesday are tied for the most home runs by pitchers on a single date since the designated hitter was instituted in 1973.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.