Bumgarner’s first-inning blues cost Giants | NevadaAppeal.com

Bumgarner’s first-inning blues cost Giants

CINCINNATI (AP) – Madison Bumgarner thought he had put his first-inning problems behind him.

Since giving up eight runs in the first inning on June 21 against Minnesota, the San Francisco left-hander had gone 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five games going into his start Saturday at Cincinnati.

But Cincinnati scored five first-inning runs on their way to a 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants before a sellout crowd on Saturday.

“I don’t think I have an answer for it,” said Bumgarner, who’s allowed a total of 18 runs in the first innings of his 22 starts, matched only by the 18 he’s allowed in 21 third innings. “I got some ground balls that found some holes. I don’t think the first inning has anything to do with it. Sometimes, it’s the third. Sometimes, it’s the fifth. I wasn’t spot on like I wanted to be. I felt like I was accurate.”

Manager Bruce Bochy felt Bumgarner had trouble finding his rhythm.

“More than anything, it’s settling in and getting the ball where he wants it to be,” Bochy said. “He was up. I don’t know if he had trouble getting acclimated to the mound or the weather. He just couldn’t get settled in in time.”

Seven players each had a hit for the Reds on their way to a second consecutive win for just the second time since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game series in Cincinnati June 13-15. Cincinnati won the series opener 4-3 in 13 innings on Friday.

Mike Leake, who leads the Reds in wins despite spending 13 days with Triple-A Louisville in May, earned his career-high ninth. The second-year right-hander, winner of eight games as a rookie in 2010, allowed eight hits and two runs – one earned – with no walks and seven strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.

The Giants loaded the bases with one out against Leake (9-6) in the seventh, but left-hander Bill Bray came on to get Carlos Beltran to fly out harmlessly to left and Pablo Sandoval to ground out to third.

Beltran flied out in the ninth and now is 1 for 14 in three games with the Giants since being traded from the Mets on Thursday, but Bochy wasn’t surprised.

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’ll be fine. It’s a settling-in process. He’s moving his family, getting to know his teammates.”

Logan Ondrusek and Nick Masset each added a shutout inning for the Reds.

The Reds pounced on the uncharacteristically wild Bumgarner for five hits and five runs while sending 11 batters to the plate in the first inning. Brandon Phillips drove in the first run with a single to left, and Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey followed with back-to-back two-run singles up the middle.

Bumgarner, who hadn’t walked more than one batter in any of his previous 10 starts and none in his three most recent appearances, didn’t help himself with two walks in the inning. The left-hander, who said sweat made it difficult to grip the ball, also hit Miguel Cairo while throwing 40 pitches, 23 for strikes, the last getting Edgar Renteria to end the inning.

“He was facing his last hitter,” Bochy said. “If he didn’t get him out, I was going to go get him. You’re hoping. Hope becomes your strategy. It’s like a fighter who’s wobbly. You’re hoping for the bell.”

Bumgarner (6-10) lasted four innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs – five earned – with three walks and four strikeouts. He also was called for a balk.

The Giants got one run back on Sandoval’s 446-foot home run deep into the right-center field seats leading off the second, his 11th homer of the season and second in three games, but the Reds capitalized on two Giants errors to add to two unearned runs in the fourth.

Then Reds shortstop Edgar Renteria committed two errors in the fifth to hand San Francisco a gift run.

Bumgarner (6-10) lasted four innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs – five earned – with three walks and four strikeouts. He also was called for a balk.

The crowd of 40,402 was Cincinnati’s 12th sellout of the season, a record for Great American Ball Park. The previous record was set in 2003, the year the ballpark opened, and tied in 2004.

Notes: LHP Aroldis Chapman hasn’t allowed a hit in 8-23 innings over his last seven appearances, the longest single-season stretch by a Reds reliever since Chuck McElroy went 11 1-3 innings in from April 25 through May 17, 1994, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Chapman has retired 25 of the last 26 batters he’s faced, with one walk and 13 strikeouts. … Giants manager Bruce Bochy planned to give 1B Aubrey Huff Saturday and Sunday off after he played all 13 innings Friday following the team’s 2:30 a.m. arrival from Philadelphia. … Reds 2B Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to nine games (13 for 38, .342), the team’s longest current streak.