Then the reigning World Series champs followed through, providing the Giants' talented young left-hander with enough run support for a change to help him pitch the Giants past the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 Wednesday night.
"He's been pitching so good I was embarrassed today to see that he has nine consecutive quality starts and 2-5 to show for it," Giants teammate Pat Burrell said. "That's embarrassing to us as an offense. We didn't exactly blow them out but we got enough for him. That's what it's all about."
Bumgarner (3-8) gave up two runs on five hits and struck out six in six innings.
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Willie Bloomquist and Chris Young hit solo home runs, ending Bumgarner's 10-start string without allowing a homer. But that was about all the Diamondbacks could muster against the 21-year-old Bumgarner, who entered the game with the fifth-worst support in the majors (2.65 runs per game).
"It's kind of funny. I feel not much different than the last few games when it's been the other way around," Bumgarner said. "I feel like I've thrown some better games before today and lost. Today it was a battle. But I feel good about it."
Bill Hall singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth with his first hit since joining the Giants four days ago and later doubled. The Giants beat Arizona for the fifth straight time,
"The last five games against them they have made the plays when it has counted," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have been in the games and they have responded better than we have. We had our opportunities to get guys in. I think we were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and we left seven on. We had opportunities in the first, sixth and seventh and didn't get them in."
Joe Saunders (3-7) allowed three runs and threw a season-high 115 pitches in seven innings for Arizona.
Aubrey Huff singled twice, drove in a run and scored for the Giants, who are 7-1 against Arizona this season with one to play in this three-game series.
In the Arizona eighth, Kelly Johnson tried to score what would have been the tying run from first on Young's double down the left-field line. Aaron Rowand, who had shifted from center field to right in the seventh, threw to shortstop Miguel Tejada, whose relay home was in plenty of time for the catcher Whiteside to apply the tag.
"What a quick release and strong throw, right on the money," manager Bruce Bochy said. "A ball down the line and they had speed on the base. You know he's going and it takes perfect execution to get it done, and we had it from both guys."
Gibson praised the way the Giants made the play.
"In that situation Rowand made a really good play on it," Gibson said. "He went into the corner and it looked like the ball popped right up to him. They made a picture-perfect relay play."
Huff singled with one out in the sixth, then Burrell walked to set up Hall's RBI hit. Moments later, Hall was called for interference going into second base, a ruling that resulted in an inning-ending double play.
Bloomquist, hitless in his previous 12 at bats, hit Bumgarner's 2-0 pitch just over the left-field wall for his second home run of the season to tie it at 1 in the third. It was the first home run the Giants' lefty has allowed in 67 innings.
San Francisco quickly regained the lead 2-1 when Ross led off the fourth with a double and scored when Burrell tripled off the Arizona bullpen fence down the left-field line. It was his first triple in two seasons.
Young homer also barely cleared the left-field fence to tie it at 2 in the fourth.
- Bumgarner had not allowed a home run since a solo shot by Arizona's Justin Upton's at Chase Field on April 17.
- After the enclosed structure was cooled by air conditioning, the Chase Field roof was opened just before the first pitch even though it was 106 degrees outside.
- Arizona's Xavier Nady struck out four times.
- Bumgarner's three victories all have come on the road.
- All eight games between the Diamondbacks and Giants have been decided by three runs or fewer.
- The Giants are 14-5 against left-handed starters.