Champs Hold Off Giant Phils Rally


5. 6. 7. 40. Final

The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants bolted out to a 6-0 lead, then held off a Phils rally against ace Madison Bumgarner to register a 7-5 victory on Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

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The Phillies got to Bumgarner (7-2) for 5 earned runs on the afternoon. But the ace lefty really only made a couple of mistakes during his 8 otherwise dominating innings. He allowed just 6 hits, striking out 11 and walking none. Bumgarner threw 98 pitches, with 78 of those for strikes.

The Giants gave him a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first against Phillies’ starter Severino Gonzalez. The rookie hit leadoff man Nori Aoki, then yielded back-to-back singles to Joe Panik and Angel Pagan, the latter scoring the first run. A sac fly by Brandon Belt then made it 2-0.

After striking out 2 of the first 3 batters in the 3rd, Gonzalez saw San Francisco break the game open. Four singles, a walk, and a hit batsmen allowed 4 runs to score. Gonzalez (2-2) was replaced by Dustin McGowan after allowing 6 earned runs on 7 hits in just 2.2 innings. McGowan would settle things down, allowing the Phillies a chance to stay in the game.

With Bumgarner looking as if he wanted to dominate, a 6-0 lead seemed insurmountable. But the Phils suddenly found a chink in his armor in the bottom of the 4th. Singles by Ben Revere and Maikel Franco surrounded Cesar Hernandez being hit by a pitch, and the Phillies had the bases loaded with one out.

Jeff Francoeur then stepped to the plate. The veteran right fielder had popped up weakly to 1st base in the 2nd inning, and Bumgarner was likely hoping to induce a ground ball for a double play in this situation. Instead, he hung a breaking ball. Francoeur didn’t miss it, crushing the pitch well out of the park to left center.

Suddenly and incredibly, the Phillies were back in the game, down just 6-4, and had three hits in the inning. But the grand slam only seemed to wake Bumgarner from a brief nap. He would retired 11 of the next 12 Phillies batters into the 8th, erasing the only one that managed to reach on a doubleplay ball.

The Giants got a big insurance run in the top of the 7th when Bumgarner helped himself, grounding an RBI single to center to make it a 7-4 game. That lead held until, with one out in the bottom of the 8th, pinch-hitter Andres Blanco took Bumgarner over the wall in left-center for his 1st homerun of the season.

Again, it only seemed to waken Bumgarner, who struck out the next two Phillies batters to keep it a 7-5 game into the 9th. Chase Utley drew a one-out walk off closer Santiago Casilla to give the Phils two shots at the tie with a longball. But both Francoeur and Cody Asche took called third strikes, giving Casilla his 17th Save.

Now having lost 13 of their last 17 games, the Phillies send Sean O’Sullivan (1-4) out on Sunday afternoon against Ryan Vogelsong (4-3) for the Giants. The game will wrap a miserable homestand on which the club is now 2-6 to fall a season-worst 15 games below the .500 mark.

Following the game on Sunday, the Phillies will leave on a 3-city, 8-game road trip. They will play 3 each in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, followed by a quick 2-game Interleague matchup with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on the front end of a 4-game home-and-home with the O’s.