Baseball / Sports

The San Francisco Giants' Angel Pagan (16) dives back to first base against San Diego Padres' Tommy Medica (14) in the first inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Monday, April 28, 2014. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group/MCT)

Bumgarner struggles as Giants fall to Padres

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants' modest four-game winning streak came to an end Monday, a surprisingly short night for opening day starter Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner didn't make it past the fifth inning against a shorthanded San Diego Padres lineup as the Giants fell 6-4 at AT&T Park. The left-hander failed to pitch into the sixth just three times in 2013, but already has matched that total through his first six starts.

Coming off a complete game, Bumgarner struggled with his command through five rocky innings. He walked two and loaded the bases in the first but got out of the jam with a strikeout. In the fourth inning, an error and double put two in scoring position for Rene Rivera, who lined a double down the left field line to give San Diego a 2-0 lead.

The Giants struck right back to take the lead. Angel Pagan hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth and scored on Hunter Pence's triple. Three batters later, Michael Morse hit a two-run single up the middle to give Bumgarner a 3-2 lead.

He couldn't hold it. Rivera followed a single and walk with a three-run blast to left-center field. It was the first homer in three years for the 30-year-old backup catcher, who became the first Padre to tally five RBIs in a game at AT&T Park.

Bumgarner was pulled after five and charged with four earned runs on seven hits and four walks, a season high. He has failed to get past the fifth inning three times this season, matching his total for all of 2013.

The Giants inched closer in the bottom of the fifth when Brandon Hicks, who won Sunday's game with a walk-off homer, hit a towering solo shot to center. The homer was the fourth of the season for Hicks, a career-high.

Buster Posey hit a one-out double off Padres right-hander Tyson Ross in the sixth and went to third on Morse's single to right. After reliever Alex Torres struck out Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford drew a walk to load the bases. Hicks unloaded on a fastball and looked to have a go-ahead grand slam, but the ball died on the warning track in left field.

-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy stuck with struggling first baseman Brandon Belt, keeping him in the lineup's No. 3 spot despite a rough weekend. Belt was 0 for 12 against the Cleveland Indians with nine strikeouts, and had whiffed in 11 of his previous 15 at-bats entering Monday's game.

"You really have to watch the player," Bochy said. "See how they handled it. It's not easy and I'm sure he's frustrated and even down at times. But he's going out there and playing great defense, not letting it affect his 'D' or game.

"He's our first baseman. He's our best first baseman. He's going to be out there. That was a close game (Sunday) and he made a couple of plays that helped us win the game."

-- Mac Williamson, the organization's top outfield prospect, will have season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. A third-round pick in 2012, Williamson, 23, hit .292 for the Class-A San Jose Giants last season with 25 homers, 31 doubles, 94 runs and 89 RBIs. He is the best power hitter in the system and widely considered one of the organization's top three position player prospects.

-- Bochy said second baseman Marco Scutaro is "feeling a little better, but there's no target date" for his return to game action. Scutaro remains at the team's facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., rehabbing a lower back strain.

-- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hicks accomplished a rare feat with his walk-off homer Sunday. The second baseman is just the fourth player in franchise history to hit a walk-off homer after the player in front of him was intentionally walked.

(c)2014 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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