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.

The only distance that matters to Bumgarner is 60 feet, 6 inches. Every waking moment provides 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?

Of course, he cannot. He didn’t stay perfect on the mound at Petco Park, either. Matt Szczur hit a solo home run in the third inning. Then Bumgarner hung a curveball that Jabari Blash hit for a two-run shot in the fourth.

And while the Giants are no longer waiting for their ace to return, they’re still waiting for their first victory in a game that he started this season.

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