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Madison Bumgarner solid, but Giants lose on Hector Sanchez HR

SAN DIEGO — Madison Bumgarner took the mound with his old swagger and a new challenge to prove himself all over again. Bumgarner’s first career trip to the disabled list, courtesy of his dirt-bike accident on that fateful off day in Colorado, shelved him nearly three months and helped turn the Giants’ season into disarray. Returning Saturday night with his team embarrassingly buried in the cellar, Bumgarner threw 102 pitches over seven innings, then watched the Giants fall 5-3 to the Padres on old friend Hector Sanchez’s walk-off home run. “There are a lot of different thoughts I have on it, the whole process,” Bumgarner said of rehabbing his way back to a major-league mound. The lefty surrendered three runs on four hits and two walks. A pair of two-ball, two-strike curveballs were costly, hit for home runs by Matt Szczur and Jabari Blash. “Obviously, I’d have liked to have a redo on a couple of pitches,” Bumgarner said. In a 20-pitch first inning, Bumgarner struck out Manuel Margot on a 3-2 curve, Carlos Asuaje on a 2-2 cutter and Wil Myers on a 1-2 curve. Next inning, Bumgarner needed just seven pitches. Szczur hit a solo homer in the third and Blash a two-run shot in the fourth. Johnny Cueto became the No. 1 pitcher but struggled on the mound and with his health — he’s on the DL for the first time with the Giants — and the rotation struggled in general, ranking 25th in the majors in ERA (4.96) entering Saturday. “It’s definitely nice to have Bum back,” catcher Buster Posey said. Hunter Pence’s two-run single off Jhoulys Chacin followed singles by Eduardo Nuñez and Posey and a walk to Brandon Crawford that loaded the bases with two outs. Posey nearly put the Giants ahead 6-0 in the second inning, but his deep fly to left dropped in Szczur’s glove, a few feet shy of a grand slam. Joe Panik tied the score 3-3 when he homered to open the sixth, and Bumgarner finished his night with three scoreless innings. “To see him back in action, he looks the same,” manager Bruce Bochy said. With the game in the hands of the bullpen, Hunter Strickland put two of his first three batters aboard in the eighth but got Allen Cordoba to hit into a routine double play. Sanchez, a former Giants catcher who caught one of Tim Lincecum’s no-hitters, hit his game-winning, two-run homer off Steven Okert, who replaced Cory Gearrin one batter into the ninth. Sanchez is 6-for-12 lifetime against the Giants, with three homers and eight RBIs. John Shea is The Chronicle’s national baseball writer.

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