Bumgarner returns but Giants lose to Padres in ninth


SAN DIEGO – Madison Bumgarner ascended a major league mound again in the Giants’ 5-3 loss Saturday afternoon, and it hardly mattered that his team was buried by 27 games in the NL West.

Every waking moment provides Bumgarner an opportunity to beat someone at something. This is the pitcher who turned patio furniture roping into a competitive sport.

So when Bumgarner stared down the San Diego Padres and struck out the first three batters he faced, you had to wonder: could he just go ahead and pitch every inning in the rest of this Giants season?

“Yeah, I mean, that was impressive, the way he located,” said Buster Posey, after catching Bumgarner for seven innings in a game that the Padres won on Hector Sanchez’s walk-off shot in the ninth.

“I didn’t really have any expectations. I hadn’t seen him pitch in awhile. He was pretty sharp considering he hasn’t pitched in a couple months. He was pretty sharp across the board.”

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