San Francisco Giants Thursday game wrap: Story’s bomb sinks Giants 3-1

April 13, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

Colorado Rockies’ Trevor Story (27) celebrates at the plate after driving in Carlos Gonzalez (5) with a two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, April 13, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

By Jeremy Harness

SAN FRANCISCO – Of the people who would get the best of Madison Bumgarner, Trevor Story didn’t figure to be very high on the list.

He entered Thursday’s game mired in a 1-for-17 slump and was only 1-for-9 in his career against the left-hander. However, he was instantly afforded the opportunity to reverse his fortunes when Bumgarner left a fastball out over the plate and belt-high.

Story did not waste it, sending the wayward pitch into the seats in left-center for a two-run homer, which proved to be the difference in a 3-1 Giants loss at AT&T Park.

It was an unusually-short night for Bumgarner, as he went six innings and gave up three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out three. He threw 101 pitches in that span.

“He worked hard tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “(But) it’s hard to win a ballgame if you score one run.”

Bumgarner started out shaky, and it appeared that Colorado would grab the early lead in the first inning, as D.J LeMahieu stole third to put runners on the corners with only one out, as the star lefty struggled with his location.

However, Bumgarner got his bearings and struck out Carlos Gonzalez, his biggest nemesis, before getting Mark Reynolds to ground into a force-out to get out of the inning unscathed.

That good fortune did not last very long. He made the fatal mistake three innings later, and Trevor Story made sure he didn’t so easily dodge this one. Two batters after giving up a single to Gonzalez, he left one out over the plate and belt-high for Story, and the young shortstop capitalized to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead.

Colorado added another run in the sixth inning, when Mark Reynolds’ bloop single into right-center extended the Rockies’ advantage to 3-0.

The Giants appeared to have caught a break in the fourth inning, when Colorado starter Jon Gray was forced to leave the game after he re-aggravated a left foot injury that he originally suffered in spring training.

He was replaced by left-hander Chris Rusin, but the Giants did not fare much better going forward. When they generated any kind of momentum on offense, it was quickly extinguished, the most damaging of which came in the very last inning with the game on the line.

Trailing by two, the Giants legged out a pair of infield hits in the ninth – including one by Hunter Pence, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Thursday – that helped load the bases with one out. However, those hopes were also dashed when Eduardo Nunez grounded into a game-ending double play.

“We just couldn’t get the bats going,” Bochy said. “Their starter had great stuff, and then we couldn’t get much going there until the last inning.”

NOTES: A surprise pinch hitter for the Giants on Thursday was shortstop Brandon Crawford, who had just learned Wednesday night of the death of his sister-in-law and drove to Los Angeles to be with the family.

He was not in the lineup Thursday, but he came up to pinch hit in the eighth, during which he grounded out.

“It’s been a tough 24 hours for Brandon,” Bochy said. “You feel for him for what he’s had to deal with, and he comes up to join us, to help us win a ballgame. That says a lot about Brandon.

“He didn’t have to be here. For him to show up tonight, I really was surprised.”

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