Madison Bumgarner pitched his second straight complete game, but this one did not end up in the win column.
Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs and right fielder Nori Aoki threw out two runners in the same inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
The Royals, who have not been in the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, hold a half game lead for the second AL wild card.
Butler, who is hitting .423 in the past seven games, homered with two out in the first off Bumgarner (13-9).
Bumgarner, who pitched a two-hit shutout to beat the Mets in his previous start, allowed four runs, one unearned, on seven hits, while walking none and striking out five. His road scoreless streak was snapped at 17 innings.
“I didn’t help the cause,” Bumgarner said. “I wanted to get the game started off on a good note. I just tried to minimize the damage. I pretty much had quick innings after the first, I think. I felt just as good in the eighth as I did early on.”
Bumgarner’s road record dropped to 9-3 in 14 starts.
“That’s a game, certainly, that we should have won,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We had the hits and the runners. Bum (Bumgarner) threw a great game. We got sloppy out there and they cashed in. They played great defensively.”
Butler singled home the go-ahead run in the two-run sixth, which was aided by throwing errors on Giants infielders Michael Morse and Matt Duffy. Alex Gordon had an RBI single.
The Giants scored twice in the third on Joaquin Arias’ double and Matt Duffy’s single. Aoki prevented a bigger inning, throwing out Hunter Pence at third and Arias at home. Pence was first ruled safe, but Royals manager Ned Yost challenged the call. The call was overruled when replays showed Pence slid past the bag.
“It happens in a snap of a finger,” Pence said. “Watching it full speed, could you tell? I’ve got to find a way to stay on the bag. I’m a fan of it (replays). Because that’s a quirky thing that happens. If I’m out, I’m out and if I’m safe, I’m safe. They have to get it right and I’ve got to stay on the bag. That’s the rules.”
The Giants out hit the Royals 12-7, but self-destructed with three errors and base running blunders.
Jason Frasor (3-1), the second of five Royals pitchers, threw a spotless sixth, striking out two. Greg Holland pitched a flawless ninth for his American League-leading 33rd save in 35 opportunities. It was Holland’s 100th career save.
Arias doubled in his first two at-bats. He had only two doubles in his previous 134 at-bats. It was his first multi-hit game since July 7 at Oakland. He drove in his first run since June 28 against the Reds.
Catcher Buster Posey threw out Alex Gordon attempting to steal second in the fourth inning. Posey has thrown out 19 runners, ranking second among National League catchers with a .311 caught-stealing percentage.
Giants: First baseman Brandon Belt was placed on the concussion list for the second time within a month. Belt missed 12 games after a July 19 concussion before being activated Aug. 2, but left the game Wednesday with a headache.
Royals: Left-hander Jason Vargas made his second start after a July 9 appendectomy, giving up nine hits and two runs in five innings.
Giants: Tim Hudson will be making his 11th career start against the Royals, but his first since 2004 when he was with Oakland.
Royals: James Shields, who has a 1.99 ERA in his past six starts, has a 26-12 career record with a 3.15 ERA in August.