Bumgarner handcuffs Snakes; Giants win second in a row

Sports Radio Service
Sunday, June 22, 2014

PHOENIX, Arizona – With two road wins in less than 24 hours, the San Francisco Giants have all but forgotten that six-game skid they were carrying into their weekend series in the desert.

“It’s a good way to finish the trip,” Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. “When you’re in the midst of a losing streak, it’s tough for a ballclub. What could go wrong has gone wrong. But that’s baseball.

“You don’t have any choice but to keep looking forward,” he added. “These guys are bouncing back. You’re always going to have your ups and downs in this game – it’s a matter of how you deal with it, and I’ve got a good group here.”

The big hits the Giants weren’t getting just a few days ago are retuning; they collected four on Sunday. That, along with a near complete game from Madison Bumgarner, helped San Francisco defeat the Diamondbacks 4-1 and take the rubber game of the three-game set.

With the victory, San Francisco maintains its four-game lead over Los Angeles in the National League West Division.

In his eight-plus innings, Bumgarner (9-4) struck out seven, and allowed only infield singles by Cody Ross and Ender Inciante, along with one unearned run and two walks.

“Bumgarner was exceptional today, maybe the best I’ve ever seen him,” Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said. “It seemed like his cutter was excellent, he was throwing his fastball wherever he wanted to, his curveball was good, so were his changeups. His curveball was as good as I’ve seen it.”

“Bumgarner pitched an excellent game. We had to try and hold him down, but we couldn’t do it.”

Bochy felt “it was real important” to get a quality start from Bumgarner.

“Your season is usually determined by your starters, because their consistency gives us a chance to win,” Bochy said. “Our guys are human, and they’re going to hit some bumps in the road, but we’ll be okay.”

After Ross’s hit in the second inning, Bumgarner retired 18 of the last 22 hitters he faced When the first two Arizona batters reached base in the bottom of the ninth, Sergio Romo came on to record his 22nd save.

“I felt like I got better as the game went on,” Bumgarner said. “I was making pitches, getting the ball over the plate, going down when I wanted them to go down and up when I wanted them to go up. I felt pretty good all the way around.”

In 16 career games against Arizona, Bumgarner has given up 25 earned runs in 94 1/3 innings. In his last four starts against the Snakes, Bumgarner has given up only one earned run in 25 innings.

“I wouldn’t have thought that, because they’re a tough team,” Bumgarner said. “I feel like it’s always a battle to come in here and play them.”

Diamondbacks starter Mike Bolsinger (1-3) gave up one earned run on five hits and one walk. He also struck out four before leaving with two out in the eighth. Relievers Evan Marshall and Joe Thatcher gave up the Giants’ three ninth-inning runs.

“Other than the pitch to Colvin, I thought (Bolsinger) pitched real well today,” Gibson said. “Those three runs in the ninth really hurt us, because you’re trying to hang in there and hope to get to a guy like Bumgarner. But we didn’t.”

Tyler Colvin snapped a scoreless tie for San Francisco with his RBI double in the fifth inning, scoring Brandon Crawford, who walked. Colvin was thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple.

The Giants tacked on three more runs in the ninth. Hunter Pence singled and scored on a Buster Posey double, and with one out, Crawford’s single to right-center drove in Posey. After Colvin struck out, rookie second baseman Joe Panik doubled to left, scoring Crawford from first base for his first big league run batted in.

“Panik has a nice stroke, doesn’t try to do too much, and he’s got some pop,” Bochy said. “It’s nice to have a left-handed bat that is comfortable hitting against lefties.”

Things got interesting in the bottom of the ninth, when Diamondbacks pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco reached on an error by Crawford and Ender Inciante beat out an infield hit. That combination chased Bumgarner and Romo was brought in to face Martin Prado, who promptly singled to center to score Pacheco from second, cutting the Giants lead to 4-1.

For the second game in a row, Romo would face Paul Goldschmidt in a key situation, and again, Romo prevailed, getting the Diamondbacks slugger to hit into a double play. Romo struck out Aaron Hill to end the game.

Now, the Giants head home, riding a two-game winning streak.

“Everybody is still in good spirits,” Bumgarner said of the new winning streak. “This was a big series for us to win.”

GIANT JOTTINGS: It was Bark in the Park day at Chase Field, with 313 dogs accounted for. Human attendance was 27,862. … San Francisco SS Brandon Crawford’s seventh-inning triple was his seventh three-bagger of the season. … Giants INF Joe Panik got his first major league hit, a single in the fifth inning off Arizona starter Mike Bolsinger. Panik was called up from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday. … RHP Sergio Romo needs seven more saves to match Rod Beck for the most saves at the All-Star break in the San Francisco-era team history. Beck had 29 first-half saves in 1997. … The Giants head back to AT&T Park Monday to start a 10-game homestand against San Diego, Cincinnati and St. Louis. San Francisco’s probable starters against the Padres are Matt Cain (1-5) on Monday, Tim Hudson (7-3) on Tuesday and Tim Lincecum (5-5) on Wednesday.

TAGS: (San Francisco Giants,Arizona Diamondbacks,Daniel Dullum,Sports Radio Service)

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