Bumgarner helps cause with homer off deGrom

Bumgarner helps cause with homer off deGrom

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Madison Bumgarner loves hitting, he can do without the fuss that seems to accompany his exploits in the batter's box.

Then again, Bumgarner tends to pile up accomplishments that demand at least some fanfare. The latest example was his two-run, fourth-inning homer in the Giants' 10-7 victory Thursday night over the New York Mets.

Bumgarner hit his third home run of the season and the 14th of his career -- more than any other active pitcher -- while facing Jacob deGrom (7-6), who looked typically impressive while blanking San Francisco for the first three innings. Bumgarner (12-7), who surrendered one hit through three innings, ultimately yielded four runs and six hits in five innings.

Bumgarner joined an extremely short list of performers who have homered off the formidable trio of deGrom, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The other select sluggers are Miami's Giancarlo Stanton and Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

"There are so many different things that can happen in this game," Bumgarner said. "You can find the stat lines anywhere you want to look. But [deGrom's] definiely not an easy guy to hit off of, for sure. He's one of the best in the game. I just caught one there."

Bumgarner's two-run moonshot

Bumgarner then was asked how he felt about being woven into another patch of trivia. The Elias Sports Bureau discovered that he became the first pitcher since Cincinnati's Hal Jeffcoat on May 26, 1957, to yield a grand slam and hit a homer in the same inning.

Bumgarner qualified for this quirk by surrendering Justin Ruggiano's slam in the top of the fourth. Told of this coincidence, Bumgarner made an indistinguishable noise and did not comment.

Bumgarner did address the novelty of not being asked to bunt in a sacrifice situation during his initial at-bat, when he came to the plate with Joe Panik on first base and nobody out in the third inning. Bumgarner swung hard throughout the entire plate appearance and ultimately lined out to center field.

Bumgarner entered the game batting .172, significantly lower than the .247 average he recorded last year. But, he said, "For whatever reason, I was seeing the ball a little better today. With the RBI situations I've had the last few games, I just wanted to shorten up, try to make contact and see if I can get the runs in."

Any hitter would love to "shorten up" the way Bumgarner did.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.