It started with fireworks, continued with darts and ended with disappointment.
The only run the Dodgers would need would come eight pitches into the game, a pimped Max Muncy homer off Madison Bumgarner – who greeted it with shouts – as the Giants fell Sunday, 1-0, in front of 34,098 at Oracle Park. Los Angeles took a series that was closer than expected.
For the Giants (26-38), the season drags on Tuesday, when they’ll start a two-game set against the Padres.
In a series in which they couldn’t get the big hit, they didn’t get much of anything Sunday, squeezing five hits against Walker Buehler and the Dodgers bullpen. They finished the series 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position.
Buehler baffled the Giants all day, needing just 91 pitches to get through seven scoreless innings. The 24-year-old threw 17 of 27 first-pitch strikes and struck out nine, skillfully maneuvering through his one inning of trouble, the sixth, with some defensive help.
Mike Yastrzemski led off with a single, the first Giants leadoff hitter to reach base. Evan Longoria followed by going the other way, lining a single to right and advancing Yastrzemski to third without an out. Pablo Sandoval lined a one-hopper to third that was nicely handled by Justin Turner, who threw home and got Yastrzemski in a pickle, eventually tagged out while scrambling back to third. Stephen Vogt and Kevin Pillar, with runners on first and second, then lobbed flyballs to left and center, respectively, to end the Giants’ best threat.
Bumgarner’s mouth was louder than the Giants’ bats. Muncy, the second batter of the game, sent an immediate message, launching a ball 426 feet into McCovey Cove.
Muncy watched it go, flipped his bat to the ground and began jogging to first. So did Bumgarner.
The Giants ace barked at Muncy, briefly following him around the diamond as he rounded first. Muncy didn’t break stride, even giving a “bring it on” wave to Bumgarner, who gave up the pursuit, the Dodgers losing the unwritten-rule battle, the Giants losing the game.
From there Bumgarner settled down, retiring the next seven hitters before a Kike Hernandez third-inning single.
Bumgarner finished with seven strong innings, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out five.