DENVER (AP) — Madison Bumgarner had all sorts of trouble throwing his fastball. He had no problems hitting one.
The young lefty hit a three-run homer on a night when he struggled on the mound, and the San Francisco Giants held on for a 9-8 win over the Colorado Rockies in rainy conditions Tuesday.
"I'm all for helping us win. But my job is to go out there and pitch, not to hit," Bumgarner said. "I'd like to go out there and pitch better than that."
Bumgarner was roughed up by the Rockies, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings. Still, he gave the Giants a big boost with his bat, sending a 93 mph fastball from Jhoulys Chacin into the left-field seats.
Sitting on that fastball?
"I'm just trying to hit the baseball," he said.
It's definitely a pitch Chacin would love to have back.
"I know he's a good hitter, and in those situations you can't miss your spot," Chacin said. "It was a really bad pitch to him."
Brandon Belt had a big night at the plate as well, breaking a tie in the fifth with a two-run double. He also brought in a run on a fielder's choice and added a solo homer for the NL West leaders, who are 20-7 on the road since the All-Star break.
With Bumgarner's early exit, the Giants' bullpen picked up the slack and allowed just one run heading into the ninth.
But that's when things got interesting. Sergio Romo entered the game and allowed a two-out, two-run homer to pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin. Lefty Javier Lopez was then summoned to face Jason Giambi and got the slugger to pop up to end the game.
Like that, the Giants gained another game on the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost 1-0 to Arizona. San Francisco now has a six-game cushion with 20 to play.
"A lot of baseball still," manager Bruce Bochy cautioned. "We've got to keep focused on what we're doing. We've got our hands full right now."
After a shaky outing from Chacin, Carlos Torres (4-2) took over in the fifth and promptly ran into trouble. Belt gave the Giants the lead for good when he doubled off the glove of Carlos Gonzalez in left. As the ball rolled into the corner, Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey came around to score.
"I thought he was going to come back with a fast ball and that's what he did," Belt explained. "He put it in a place I could handle, I put a good one on it and it fell in for me."
Chris Nelson, Wilin Rosario, Jordan Pacheco, Matt McBride and Gonzalez all had RBI singles for the Rockies.