SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner became San Francisco’s most steady starter last season, and now he is stumbling through the season’s first month.
The opening day pitcher has struggled for run support, and dropped his third straight outing in a 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres on Monday night. The three-start skid is the left-hander’s f first time since late in 2012.
“We had a good game plan going in but I just wasn’t able to make pitches today,” Bumgarner said. “I left a lot of balls over the middle or way off the plate. Today was probably the worst I had command wise. I felt like the other ones, I was maybe trying to nibble too much. Today I was trying to get ahead and just wasn’t able to do it.”
Bumgarner (2-3) allowed a go-ahead three-run homer to Rene Rivera in the fifth after Rivera’s earlier two-run double as he finished with a career-high five RBIs, single handedly backing Tyson Ross.
Bumgarner walked a season-high four, and his four earned runs matched his most of 2014. He didn’t pitch into the sixth for the third time in his six starts and lost three straight outings for the first time since Aug. 25-Sept. 5, 2012.
The Giants had won seven straight home games against the Padres started by the lefty.
“I think it’s fair to say he’s made a few more mistakes than we’re accustomed to,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “A strange night. We just couldn’t get it done.”
Ross (3-3) did just enough over 5 1-3 innings to beat the Giants for the second time in 11 days, allowing eight hits and four runs with four strikeouts and two walks.
After Michael Morse put San Francisco ahead on two-run single in the fourth, Rivera answered with his first homer of the year. He hadn’t driven in a run all season before Monday, and the five RBIs were most by a Padres player at 15-year-old AT&T Park.
Brandon Hicks homered for the second straight day, following his walkoff a day earlier against Cleveland with a leadoff shot in the fifth. Hunter Pence hit an RBI triple in the fourth.
First base umpire Angel Hernandez had two calls overturned by replay.
Bochy came out in the third to request a review after Hernandez called Xavier Nady safe on a close play at first. The umpiring crew overturned the call in 1 minute, 31 seconds.
Hernandez was involved in another overturn in the fourth when Padres manager Bud Black requested a review. Ross was ruled thrown out by third baseman Pablo Sandoval. In 1:18, the call was overturned and Sandoval was charged with an error.
Ross, born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, faced the minimum through three – helped by double plays in the first and second then two strikeouts in the third.
The right-hander pitched eight scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in his April 18 win against San Francisco at Petco Park as San Diego took two of three from its division rival.
“It’s always nice to come back home and get a win,” Ross said. “The defense was great tonight and got me out of a couple jams, and the offense came to play.”
Alexi Amarista drove in an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Huston Street, San Diego’s fourth reliever, then finished for his 10th save in as many tries and 35 of 36 dating to last May. He lowered his ERA to 0.82.
NOTES: A moment of silence and a video tribute were held before the game for Hall of Fame Padres broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who died in January at 89. Another moment of silence was held for victims of the ferry disaster in South Korea as the Giants celebrated Korean Heritage Night. … Padres INF/OF Tommy Medica was recalled from Triple-A El Paso three days after being optioned and flying from Washington, D.C., to Sacramento. “That’s the Schwarzenegger special, Sacramento to D.C.,” Black said of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Medica couldn’t get off the plane in time Monday morning to avoid a trip to Los Angeles then a second flight back to San Francisco. He took the roster spot of INF Jedd Gyorko, who went on the paternity leave list.