SAN FRANCISCO — In a season that quickly unraveled due to the high volume of forgettable games the Giants played, the club wrapped up the month of June with one of its most memorable performances of the season.
Center fielder Kevin Pillar enjoyed a career day, Buster Posey finished with three hits and the Giants’ offense set a new season-high for runs in a home game with 10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was the lineup that helped the Giants cruise to a 10-4 victory, but that’s not why the 31,778 fans in attendance at Oracle Park will look back on Sunday’s performance so fondly.
When Madison Bumgarner dominates like he did against Arizona, everything else fades into the background.
Bumgarner tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits while racking up nine strikeouts as he recorded his 13th quality start in 18 outings this season. With a strikeout of D’backs catcher Carson Kelly to end his day in the top of the seventh, Bumgarner moved into a tie for second place with Tim Lincecum for the most strikeouts (1,704) in the Giants’ San Francisco-era history.
Catching Juan Marichal at the top of the list with 2,281 strikeouts would require to spend a few more seasons in a Giants uniform, but the better Bumgarner pitches, the less likely he’ll remain with the club beyond the July 31 trade deadline.
Over his last two outings, Bumgarner has logged 13 innings, allowed seven hits and three earned runs and struck out 20 hitters. The Giants ace and pending free agent will likely be headed out of town in a July trade, but in what could be his final starts with San Francisco, Bumgarner is reminding fans why his decade-long run with the franchise has been so special.
Bumgarner’s fifth win of the season helped the Giants wrap up their first winning month (14-13) since June, 2018 and their second in a month with a full slate of games since June, 2016.
A six-run seventh inning keyed the Giants’ best offensive performance at home this season as the inning included Pillar’s fourth hit of the day and a two-run double from right fielder Mike Yastrzemski.
Pillar’s afternoon began on an impressive note as he broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second with his team-leading 11th home run of the season. The 106-mile per hour, two-run shot off D’backs starter Robbie Ray marked Pillar’s eighth homer of the season at Oracle Park, giving him more home runs than any right-handed hitter at the Giants’ home stadium since Buster Posey hit 11 in 2014.
The Giants center fielder added two more RBIs in the third with a critical two-out, two-strike base blooper into center field to double his team’s advantage. After third baseman Evan Longoria struck out on three pitches, Pillar lofted a 63-mile per hour single over the head of D’backs shortstop Nick Ahmed to bring home Brandon Belt and Tyler Austin.
Through the first 83 games of the season, Pillar leads the Giants in home runs (11), RBIs (42) and batting average (.241). His 17 two-out RBIs are also the most on the club and after Sunday’s victory, he’s the only player on the Giants to have four hits in the same game this year.