Bumgarner Flirts With No-hitter, Settles for Win That Snaps Giants' Skid

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Crawford took a quick step to his left and sprawled out towards second base, snagging Jean Segura's sharp liner just before it could find the outfield grass. 

Under slightly different circumstances, the play would have gone down as one of the most legendary moments of the shortstop's career. Reporters would have written sidebar stories about it late into the night. Crawford would be mentioned with Gregor Blanco for years to come. 

Alas, Crawford wasn't quite saving a no-hitter. 

Madison Bumgarner was brilliant for seven innings, but pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez lined an elevated fastball into center for a clean single with one out in the sixth, breaking up a modest no-hit bid. Bumgarner settled for seven innings of one-hit ball, three times reaching base himself, and a 5-0 win over the Phillies that snapped a four-game skid for the Giants. 

"He did it all tonight," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's hard to have a better game than what he did, and we needed it, because we were facing a good pitcher in (Phillies ace Aaron) Nola."

Bumgarner, who has come close before, would not get his historic night. But that was fine with him. He was happy to simply get the Giants back on the right track. They had lost six of their last seven, with the starters compiling an 8.19 ERA during that span, but Bumgarner had control of this game from the moment "Fire on the Mountain" started blaring through Oracle Park. 

Making his first start at home since the trade deadline, Bumgarner cruised through the first three innings on 36 pitches. In the bottom of the third he saw nine pitches from Nola while whistling a single to left that helped ignite a three-run rally. 

Bumgarner walked Rhys Hoskins on a close inside pitch in the fourth, but had little trouble taking his bid to the sixth. Hernandez dashed any hopes, and a bit later Bumgarner was pulled after just 85 pitches. 

Bumgarner was disappointed with his command in his previous start in Denver and did extra flat ground throwing to get back on point. Bochy, aware of all the pre-start throws, wanted to take some of the load off of Bumgarner's shoulders. He went to his bullpen early. 

"The start in Denver, to have a bad game results-wise wouldn't have been that big a deal," Bumgarner said. "But I didn't feel the command there."

It was all there Thursday. This was the sixth time in his career that Bumgarner allowed just one hit in a start, and he was just as tough on the Phillies with a bat in his hand. 

Bumgarner's offensive numbers are down this year, but on this night he reached in all three plate appearances, with a single the first time up followed by two walks. That made for a great all-around night, even if it wasn't one that'll go in the record books. Asked if he knew he was getting close to interesting territory before the single, Bumgarner nodded. 

"You know. I never believe when guys say they don't know," he said of no-hit bids. "I also don't care about it. I just wanted to win the game."

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