SAN FRANCISCO — The number stared back at the Giants and kept getting bigger as the night went on. It settled at 13 runners left on base. Luckily, the Giants have Madison Bumgarner.
The ace allowed four hits and struck out eight in eight dominant innings. He also reached base a career-high three times as the Giants beat the Brewers 3-2 in a game that shouldn’t have been nearly as close but ultimately was a fourth consecutive win.
Bumgarner was dominant from the start, going nine up, nine down on just 35 pitches, but the Giants couldn’t take advantage of repeated opportunities to blow the game wide open. They stranded two in the first and two more in the second before Brandon Crawford’s single gave them a run in the third. Two more runners were stranded in the fourth and only one run scored in the fifth after the Giants loaded the bases with no outs.
Bumgarner ended that inning with a strikeout and he let out some anger as he walked back to the dugout. The frustration continued in the next half inning. The Brewers had scored in the fifth on Jonathan Lucroy’s solo shot and back-to-back two-out hits — a hard double and broken-bat single — brought the tying run across in the sixth.
The Giants took the lead in the seventh not on a base hit, but on what looked to be an opposing pitcher’s fear of a pitcher. Will Smith gave up a pair of singles ahead of Bumgarner, and like many pitchers before him this season, Smith looked intent on avoiding throwing anything Bumgarner could take a big hack at. He spiked a curveball and then spiked a slider, allowing Gregor Blanco to score the go-ahead run.