Off-duty Giants pitchers provide offensive spark

Off-duty Giants pitchers provide offensive spark

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy got creative in San Francisco's 3-1 win over the Nationals on Sunday.

With Matt Cain's pitch count already at 93 after the top of the fifth, Bochy elected to pinch-hit Madison Bumgarner in his place to open the bottom of the inning. Bumgarner, who was apparently in Bochy's ear about a pinch-hitting opportunity a day prior, finally got his chance. And he made that choice look like the right one, lining a leadoff double off the right-center-field wall.

"Pretty impressive pinch-hit, wasn't it?" Bochy said.

Bumgarner has gone 3-for-5 with one walk in his last five pinch-hit appearances. He also became the first Giants pitcher to tally an extra-base hit as a pinch-hitter since Don Robinson homered on June 19, 1990, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Statcast: Bumgarner's double

Bochy then followed that decision up by putting Bumgarner's rotation mate, Jeff Samardzija, in the game as a pinch-runner for the second consecutive day. And Bumgarner certainly didn't have a problem with that decision.

"Have you not seen his highlight video?" Bumgarner said of Samardzija, who amassed 2,593 receiving yards as a wide receiver for Notre Dame from 2003-06.

Samardzija, whom Bochy said has politicked about pinch-hitting several times, too, scored three batters later, after racing from second following a throwing error from Anthony Rendon on Hunter Pence's grounder.

"We got a break there, but you take it," Bochy said. "These guys knew our situation and we needed them available. Both of them wanted to be in the game."

The run proved vital and was the second time this season that a pitcher scored as a pinch-runner for a pitcher who pinch-hit for the pitcher. The Cardinals also completed the feat in the 12th inning June 10.

"It's fun to just be a part of the game and get a chance to help the team win when you're not out there pitching," said Bumgarner. "I'm just glad it worked out."

Justin Wise is a reporter for based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.