A little education can make a significant difference.
Just ask Diamondbacks’ right-hander Mike Bolsinger, who returned from exile at Triple-A Reno and since his recall on June 17 turned in two creditable efforts. After a no-decision against the Brewers on June 17, Bolsinger came right back against the San Francisco Giants Sunday and gave the Diamondbacks one of the best quality starts this season.
Too bad the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner was a bit a better and out-dueled Bolsinger to gain a 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks before 27,862 Sunday afternoon in Chase Field.
Through the Giants’ margin of victory was three runs, Bolsinger and Bumgarner were locked in a classic pitching duel.
While turning in an creditable effort, Bolsinger left trailing 1-0 in the eighth. He allowed only five hits and six base runners for the 7.2 innings of work. The Giants then roughed relievers Evan Marshall and Joe Thatcher for three runs in the ninth, but Bumgarner needed support from closer Sergio Romo to nail down the victory.
With the loss, the Diamondbacks dropped another series at home. To date, the D-backs have taken only two series of the 13 played at Chase Field this season. Their home record is now 14-29.
For Bolsinger, his recent education at Reno is quite noticeable and since his return from the Aces, the right-hander credits a certain level of maturing for better numbers.
“I learned to stay focus and concentrate,” he said after Sunday’s game. “With every start, you try to build on that game and the experience. With success, your confidence level will rise and I see that happening.”
One mistake did cost Bolsinger.
With one out in the fifth, Bolsinger walked Brandon Crawford and the Giants’ shortstop came around to score on a double Tyler Colvin.
Along the way, Bumgarner was nearly perfect. Lasting two batters in the ninth, Bumgarner was credited with eight innings pitched, allowed two infield singles, walked two and another reached base on an error. The native of Hickory, N. C. is now 4-1 with a 1.63 ERA in his last six starts.
“That’s probably the best I’ve seen Bumgarner against us,” said D-backs’ manager Kirk Gibson. “Against a guy like that, you have to hung in there but his cutter was excellent and he put his fast ball where he wanted.”
Nearly matching a previous best in which he threw a one-hitter against the Reds on June 28, 2012, Bumgarner allowed that infield single to Cody Ross with two outs in the second and infield single to Ender Inciatre in the ninth.
After pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco reached first on an error by Crawford to open the ninth and Inciarte’s infield knock, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy went to Romo. Martin Prado then singled to center to score Pacheco and then faced Paul Goldschmidt.
With Goldschmidt as the tying run, Romo induced Goldschmidt to ground into a double play and then struck out Aaron Hill to end the game.
Still, Bolsinger’s strong effort out-shadowed another dismal day at the ball park.
“(Bolsinger) made some good pitches and kept us in the game,’ Gibson said. “He pitched well but Bumgarner was better.”
CLOSING THE CURTAIN
The home stand concludes with a two-game, inter-league set against the Cleveland Indians.
On Tuesday night, Wade Miley (3-6, 4.62 ERA) takes on right-hander Justin Masterson (4-5, 4.75). For Wednesday night, Chase Anderson (5-2, 3.18) opposes right-hander Cory Kluber (6-4, 3.35).
Then, it’s off to San Diego, Pittsburgh and Atlanta on a nine-game road swing.
The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field for three with the Marlins, July 7-9, and take on the Giants for three at AT&T Park. Then, all teams break for the All-Star game.