SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ben Revere stood in the on-deck circle waiting for his second at-bat of the first inning and watched as pitcher Carl Pavano went for a major league-record ninth straight hit to start the game.
“He tried to break it,” Revere said, chuckling. “He was hacking. I loved it.”
Pavano struck out swinging.
That was about the only pitch from Madison Bumgarner they missed.
Revere had two hits and two RBIs to highlight an eight-run first inning, and the surging Twins tied a major league record by opening with eight consecutive hits in a 9-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
“We got hits. We got plenty of hits. And they kept coming,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Luke Hughes had a two-run single to help chase Bumgarner (3-9) before some fans even found their seats at cozy AT&T Park. The left-hander recorded just one out.
Pavano (5-5) scattered nine hits in eight innings to help Minnesota win its eighth straight. The Giants have lost five in a row and fell a half-game behind Arizona for first in the NL West.
Minnesota’s blazing start was as swift as it was stunning.
In the first eight batters, each single was followed by a double. The hard-hit pitches came early in the count — 22 of Bumgarner’s 25 pitches were for strikes — and were sprayed in every direction.
Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young and Danny Valencia also had run-scoring hits in the opening inning. If not for Pavano batting in the NL park, Minnesota’s streak might have continued.
After Revere followed Pavano with a double, Bumgarner was replaced by Guillermo Mota, who tossed 4 2-3 scoreless innings and hit a double. Bumgarner’s night last all of about 15 minutes.
“It was pretty pathetic,” he said.
About the only bright spots for the defending World Series champions came far too late: Eli Whiteside homered in the seventh and Emmanuel Burriss hit an RBI single in the eighth to snap the San Francisco’s 0-for-31 skid with runners in scoring position.
Pavano admitted he didn’t have his best stuff — but he didn’t need it.
“They were a little anxious,” he said. “They’re trying to get the lead back. Eight runs is a big deficit. You tend to try to do too much, which worked in my favor.”
Bumgarner’s ERA for what was by far the worst start of his career was 216.00, and his season ERA went from 3.21 to 4.06 after starting the game with the third-worst run support in the NL. No matter who starts, the Giants have scored eight runs or more in only five games all season.
So it was basically over before a Giants player came to the plate.
Alexi Casilla also homered in the ninth for the Twins. Not that they needed any extra support.
The last major league team to start a game with eight straight hits was the Chicago Cubs against Pittsburgh on Sept. 8, 2009, according to information the Elias Sports Bureau provided to the Giants. The Twins also were the first American League team to open with eight straight hits since the New York Yankees did it against Baltimore on Sept. 25, 1990.
“That’s a first for me to see it quite go like that,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s hard to do. Madison’s been throwing the ball so well, and even though he’s off it’s still hard to do. I don’t care if you’re throwing batting practice out there.
“We just couldn’t stop it.”
NOTES: Giants LHP Barry Zito threw a two-hit shutout in a rehab start for Triple-A Fresno against Salt Lake. … Bochy and Gardenhire have been friends since they were teammates for the New York Mets’ former Triple-A affiliate in Tidewater, Va., from 1981-82. Bochy even rented Gardenhire’s house in the summer of 1992 while managing Double-A Wichita. “He overcharged me,” Bochy said, chuckling. “He still won’t pay me back.” … Twins 1B Justin Morneau will have a cast removed from his left wrist on Friday or Saturday. … Twins closer Joe Nathan was scheduled to throw one inning on Tuesday and Wednesday for Triple-A Rochester.
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