SAN FRANCISCO — On the big stage of Sunday Night Baseball, Madison Bumgarner once again carried a heavy load.
Bumgarner pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and drove in the lone Giants run in a 1-0 win that gave them a series victory over the Cubs. The Giants have won six consecutive Bumgarner starts, and they have taken 10 of their last 11 overall.
Bumgarner was in trouble early, loading the bases in the first on a hit batter, a single and a walk. He went 3-2 on rookie shortstop Addison Russell, but after a couple of foul balls, Bumgarner froze Russell with a perfectly placed 92 mph fastball. If you don’t get to an ace early, you often don’t get to him at all, and the Cubs had no success in the ensuing innings.
After allowing a single with one down in the second, Bumgarner then retired 15 straight. He needed 28 pitches in the first inning, and used just 70 in the next six.
As he often does, Bumgarner helped his own cause at the plate. With Gregor Blanco on first in the fifth, Bumgarner was asked to bunt. He pushed one foul, then ripped a two-strike double into the left-field corner, giving the Giants the lead.
Bumgarner took the mound in the eighth at 98 pitches, but two outs and a walk of Anthony Rizzo got him to 115 pitches. Bochy called for Cory Gearrin and the Giants got out of the inning.
Santiago Casilla entered for the ninth and Ben Zobrist immediately hit a long fly deep to center. Denard Span tracked it down, though, making a tumbling catch. Casilla struck out the final two Cubs batters of the day.
Starting pitching report: In five May starts, Bumgarner has allowed just six runs. His ERA is down to 2.17.
Bullpen report: Gearrin threw just one pitch. Kris Bryant lined it to short.
At the plate: Bumgarner’s RBI was just his second of the season. After Matt Cain’s two-run double on Saturday, Bumgarner ranked last among the starting pitchers in RBI. Cain surely mentioned it a dozen or two times between his start and Bumgarner’s.
In the field: Giants infielders helped Bumgarner get back on track, with each of the four making a standout play. Brandon Crawford’s snag and throw deep in the hole in the third might have been the toughest of the bunch. Per Daren Willman of MLB, Crawford had a 96.1 percent route efficiency and made a 72.4 mph throw off his back foot.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,359 human beings who groaned when the Warriors-Thunder halftime score was shown on the big board.
Up next: The Padres, who saw just one inning from a Giants reliever earlier in the week at Petco Park. The opener is Johnny Cueto against Drew Pomeranz.