May 25, 2011
FLORIDA (27-19) vs.
Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on NBC Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It took until mid-May, but San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner finally earned his first victory of the year.
It seems unlikely it will take as long for him to notch win No. 2.
Bumgarner, who has been the victim of bad luck, looks to build on one of the best starts of his career when he takes the ball for the Giants against the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.
Bumgarner (1-6, 3.71 ERA) entered Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers as one of six pitchers to make at least eight starts but not have a victory. He no longer needs to worry about being a member of that ill-fated group after coming within one out of his first major league shutout.
In the 3-1 win over the Dodgers, Bumgarner allowed six hits and the lone run scored on Jerry Sands' RBI double with two outs in the ninth. The 21-year-old left-hander was then replaced by closer Brian Wilson.
"I'm just glad to finally get that first win out of the way," Bumgarner said. "The last few games, I felt like there's been a big difference from the first four, even though it didn't work out for me. But it taught me a lot and what I need to focus on."
Although it was his first win, Bumgarner has a 1.60 ERA over his last five starts for the Giants (27-20). He has been hurt by an offense that has backed him with an average of 2.29 runs, fourth-worst in baseball.
"I feel good about throwing a good game and keeping us in there," Bumgarner said. "Wins and losses are something you really can't control, so I tried not to focus on that."
Bumgarner's focus will be on a Marlins team that won Tuesday's series opener 5-1, snapping the Giants' five-game winning streak.
REWIND: Nolasco, Marlins end Giants' streak
"It was a big win to start the road trip against these guys," said winning pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who came within two outs of throwing a complete game.
Gaby Sanchez had a three-run double - one of his three hits - and Mike Stanton hit his 11th home run for Florida (27-19), which won for the third time in four games.
Stanton is heating up, batting .343 with six homers and nine RBIs in his last 10 games after hitting .160 with two RBIs in his previous seven. The California native is batting .353 with two home runs and five RBIs in five games against the Giants, and is also 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles lifetime against Bumgarner.
In Bumgarner's only career start against the Marlins on July 29, he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings a 5-0 loss.
Tuesday's loss was the Giants' first at AT&T Park since April 24, snapping a nine-game home winning streak. San Francisco scored its only run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada.
Although the Giants lost for just the fourth time in 16 games, Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a pair of singles. The catcher is batting .400 during his run, and will get his first look at Chris Volstad (2-3, 5.73) on Wednesday.
Volstad gave up three runs and four hits in five innings in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander has not had much success away from Florida this season, going 0-1 with an 8.04 ERA.
He has fared well against the Giants, however, going 1-1 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts.