Madison Bumgarner is pitching as well as he has in years. Just be careful how you phrase it.
“I’m not really a fan of that ‘vintage’ deal,” the 2014 World Series MVP snapped back when asked how he felt compared to his best years.
Kevin Pillar had four hits including a homer and drove in a career-high five runs, Bumgarner pitched seven strong innings, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 on Sunday.
Buster Posey had three hits including a double for the Giants, who split the four-game series with their NL West rivals.
Bumgarner (5-7) gave up one run on four hits. He struck out nine and walked none.
He hasn’t been the dominant pitcher he once was after suffering a separated left shoulder in 2017 and a broken pinkie finger last season, but over his last two starts, Bumgarner has struck out 20, walked three, and given up three earned runs in 13 innings.
“He’s right there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said when asked how the 29-year-old left-hander compared to his earlier years with the team.
He invoked the “v” word.
“That was vintage Bum,” Bochy said.
Bumgarner, who is the subject of trade speculation ahead of the July 31 deadline, moved into a tie with Tim Lincecum for second on the team’s San Francisco-era strikeout list with 1,704. Juan Marichal (2,281) tops the list.
“It’s a pretty incredible feat,” Bumgarner said. “This organization has been around a long time and a lot of great players come through here, so to be up on that list is very special.”
Pillar put the Giants ahead in the bottom of the second with a two-run homer off Robbie Ray (5-6). His 11th home run came on a sinker Ray left over the middle of the plate.
Pillar lined a two-run single up the middle in the third to make it 4-0, and doubled over the head of left fielder Tim Locastro in the fifth. He also had an RBI single in the seventh.
Needing a triple to complete the cycle, Pillar flied out to right in the eighth.
“I felt the moment,” Pillar said. “Something I was definitely mindful of, as you could tell in my approach. I was trying to find that big gap out there and hopefully get a chance to get that fifth hit and check another box off my bucket list.”
Ray gave up four runs in four innings. He is winless in his last four starts.
“Today was tough one,” Ray said. “It was a little bit of a head-scratcher. Honestly, I felt like I made some pretty good pitches. They just hit some good pitches. I thought they laid off my slider really well and then the few hits they got they just put good swings on them.”
Nick Ahmed tripled leading off the fifth and scored on Ildemaro Vargas’ sacrifice fly to close Arizona within 4-1.
The Giants broke the game open in the seventh. Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run double highlighted a six-run inning in which they sent 11 men to the plate and matched a season high for runs scored in an inning.
Adam Jones and Christian Walker each had RBI singles for Arizona in a three-run eighth.
Diamondbacks ace right-hander Zack Greinke was selected to his sixth All-Star game.
Giants closer Will Smith was named an All-Star for the first time.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a called third strike on Carson Kelly. The ejection was Lovullo’s first this season.
“The home plate umpire (Mike Muchlinski) asked me if I had anything I wanted to say. And I did,” Lovullo said. “I felt I’d seen some things that were frustrating me and I just wanted to go out there and tell him how I felt. What I said is between me and him.”
Giants: OF Steven Duggar (lower back strain) reported no pain after playing five innings in a rehab game with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, Bochy said.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke (2-3, 6.10 ERA) will pitch Tuesday’s series opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He is 1-2 with an 8.61 ERA over his last six starts.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 4.52) will pitch Monday’s series opener in San Diego. The 34-year-old has a 2.44 ERA in nine games (eight starts) at Petco Park.
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