Not even Bumgarner can stop Giants from losing seventh straight 

click to enlarge Giants ace Madison Bumgarner allowed four runs in seven innings against the Diamondbacks on Thursday. The World Series MVP’s ERA still remained high at 5.29. - BEN MARGOT/AP
  • Ben Margot/AP
  • Giants ace Madison Bumgarner allowed four runs in seven innings against the Diamondbacks on Thursday. The World Series MVP’s ERA still remained high at 5.29.

Not even the mythical figure that is Madison Bumgarner can stop the hurt.

The man who does Carhartt commercials, doubles as a lumberjack and basically is associated with anything that is ultramanly cannot stop some losing streaks, particularly ones that might come in April before he takes his typical Herculean form.

The Giants were hoping that the man who dragged them through the last postseason by their collar could do so again in his first start at AT&T Park this season. Because the offense is still apparently hungover on Champagne, and because scoring has become such a chore lately, Bumgarner had to be great against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night in order to ensure victory.

He was not.

Two shotgun-blast home runs, one by Mark Trumbo that nearly carried over the left-field bleachers and the other a three-run job by Paul Goldschmidt, were nearly enough to do in Bumgarner and push the Giants' losing streak to seven games, which would be their longest since 2010.

Eventually, the Giants still found a way to lose. This time, after tying the game in the ninth and 10th innings, Sergio Romo, who had not allowed a run in his previous four appearances, gave up a two-run double to Aaron Hill. The Giants had the game-winning run on second base in the bottom half, but failed to score him and lost 7-6, a seventh consecutive defeat to match their longest skid since 2010.

For Bumgarner, who went seven innings, it could have been his 10th career loss in March and/or April. His career ERA in that first month is now 3.44 and his WHIP an unimpressive 1.357 after he allowed four runs on six hits through seven innings. Both numbers are his highest for any month over his career.

In his previous start, against the San Diego Padres, Bumgarner allowed five runs on 10 hits in three innings. Both home runs Thursday came when Bumgarner was ahead in the count.

The Giants tried to bail him out, staking him to a first-inning lead and pushing for a comeback when Brandon Crawford hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to right in the seventh inning that cut the Diamondbacks' lead to a run. That homer broke a 0-for-23 skid for Crawford and gave the Giants three runs in a game for the first time since Sunday. It was also the first time since April 8 that the offense pushed across multiple runs in an inning.

Still, it wasn't enough to support Bumgarner. He eventually wiggled off the hook for a second consecutive loss when Joe Panik tripled home Buster Posey in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings.

Bumgarner used the four days between starts to iron out wrinkles in his mechanics. He and Bochy would not share specifics, but whatever he did only mildly worked. Too many pitches still caught too much of the plate and for the second consecutive start, it was a disappointing final line for the ace.

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Anthony Witrado

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