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Bochy, Bumgarner praise Duggar for toughness, defense

Steven Duggar just continues to remind the Giants why they drafted him. On Tuesday, Duggar played arguably the most crucial role in a 1-0 victory over the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks despite failing to pick up a single hit.

In the eighth inning, Duggar made an absurd relay with Brandon Crawford to get a potential game-saving out. It was a play that only Bruce Bochy can do justice to.

“That saved the game for us,” Bochy said. “He cut that ball off. I don’t know if Craw knew he was going, but once he realized it with his arm, we got a huge out there.”

Madison Bumgarner said it almost doesn’t surprise him anymore when Duggar marauds around center field making eye-catching defensive plays. The offense? Well, Bumgarner isn’t too concerned with that.

“I’ve gotten to play with him enough now where I’m starting to expect that stuff out of him,” Bumgarner said. “Me, personally, I don’t care if he ever gets a hit, I love him in center field and anything else he does is a positive, so that’s how I feel about him.”

Duggar showed a gritty part of his game in the ninth. After he reached on a walk, Nick Hundley singled to left field and Duggar had to stop short after second base and shift his momentum to dive back to the bag. When he reached for the bag, he pushed his head into the dirt, looking to be in clear pain.

Bochy and assistant athletic trainer Eric Ortega hustled out to examine Duggar, who refused to entertain suggestions of being removed. On the next play, he scored the game-winning run on a pinch-hit single from Gorkys Hernandez, who will start for Duggar as scheduled tomorrow.

“I was out there and he was in pain,” Bochy said. “He said, ‘I’m staying in this game.’ Eric, our trainer made him raise his arm up and show that he was OK, which he did. Shows you the toughness of this kid. Knocking on wood right now that tomorrow he’s going to show up and feel good.”

Bochy said the team is currently calling the injury a bruised shoulder and will re-evaluate Duggar tomorrow. He said if Hernandez didn’t hit the game-winner, Duggar would have been looked at again in the dugout and potentially double-switched for Hernandez.

According to Alex Pavlovic, Duggar said he felt a pop in his shoulder, but that the shoulder popped back into place.

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