After getting swept in a three-game home series to the Los Angeles Dodgers to fall out of first place in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants turned to their hottest pitcher to help wash away their woes.
Instead, he just added to them.
Madison Bumgarner allowed all five runs in the first two innings as the Giants lost their fifth straight game, 5-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
“Just having trouble making pitches,” Bumgarner said. “I didn’t feel like I was so far off but was just missing enough each time, and then putting us behind in the count a lot.”
Four players drove in a run off Bumgarner (12-8) in the first, and Josh Harrison hit his seventh homer in the second to provide all of Pittsburgh’s pop.
“The first inning was the story for Madison. He was out of rhythm and had trouble hitting spots. His stuff was a little flat,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Everything Bumgarner couldn’t do, Vance Worley did.
Worley (4-1) tossed a four-hitter for his first shutout, striking out three and walking one. His only other complete game came in a 7-2 win over the Giants on July 26, 2011, in Philadelphia.
San Francisco was shut out for the 12th time this season.
Worley didn’t allow a baserunner until Pablo Sandoval singled for the first of his two hits. Gregor Blanco hit a swinging bunt single in the sixth before being nabbed trying to steal second. And Hunter Pence’s two-out triple in the ninth was the only other hit off Worley.
Bumgarner gave up five runs and six hits in four innings. He had allowed one run in 14 innings since the All-Star break and was coming off his best start of the season.
All that evaporated in a 41-pitch first. He allowed three hits, two walks and committed one of two San Francisco errors in the inning when he misfired to second trying to pickoff Andrew McCutchen.
Gaby Sanchez, Neil Walker, Gregory Polanco and Russell Martin each drove in a run in the first for the Pirates.
Pirates: Left fielder Starling Marte can come off the concussion list Wednesday but likely won’t resume baseball activities until a few days after that.
Giants: First baseman Brandon Belt passed his concussion test, resumed working out and is expected to return early in the team’s 10-game road trip that begins Friday at the New York Mets. … Backup catcher Hector Sanchez failed his concussion test and said he will be out least another three days. … Center fielder Angel Pagan (back) will go through his pregame workout routine Tuesday in Arizona, and if everything goes well the Giants will set a date for his rehab assignment.
Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 4.18 ERA) looks for his second straight victory.
Giants: RHP Tim Hudson (8-7, 2.65 ERA) tries to stop his three-game home losing streak.
After starting the season 22-9 at home, the Giants are 6-20 in San Francisco since and 28-29 overall. “This is kind of where you make your money at,” said Bumgarner, who is 4-6 at AT&T Park this season. “It’s really weird.”
TURN TWO: The Pirates helped Worley out with two double plays, including a spectacular turn by Walker at second base in the fourth. Walker grabbed shortstop Jordy Mercer’s glove scoop barehanded while falling, turned and threw to first to get Michael Morse. “I knew I was going to have to barehand the ball, but I just didn’t know where it was going to be,” Walker said. “It was kind of just instinctual.”
Updated July 29, 2014