As the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to complete a blockbuster deal with Boston to land Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett as part of a nine-player trade Friday, San Francisco continued its winning ways with a 5-3 victory. Angel Pagan went 4 for 5 and scored twice while Ryan Vogelsong went 6 1-3 innings and overcame three homers - two by Freddie Freeman .
Pagan is 18 for 35 (.514) with five doubles, two triples and 12 runs scored during an eight-game hitting streak."He's really done great. Obviously, he's the catalyst," reliever Javier Lopez said of Pagan. "Everybody's stepped up in Melky's absence. It's a new era every night."
The Giants (71-55) have won 10 of 13 to take a three-game lead over the Dodgers. The rotation is responsible for all five wins of the current streak while recording a 1.80 ERA.
With Bumgarner (14-7, 2.83 ERA) on the mound Saturday, that run figures to continue. He is 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA in his last eight starts.
The left-hander's last two outings have been particularly exceptional. After tossing a five-hitter in a 6-1 victory against Washington on Aug. 14, he scattered four hits and struck out 10 in eight scoreless innings of a 2-1 win over the Dodgers on Monday to set a career high in wins."We had our hands full with Madison," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "He gives you a lot of angles with that crossfire (delivery), and that cutter kind of comes out of his shoulder. We didn't have a whole lot of chances."
Bumgarner, however, is 0-2 with a 3.78 ERA in three starts against the Braves. He allowed three runs and three hits, including two homers, while striking out eight over seven innings of a 3-2 loss July 19.
He'll try to hand the Braves (71-55) a third straight loss. They still hold the first NL wild card despite losing six of seven, hitting .197 and averaging 2.4 runs in that span."It's getting frustrating, honestly," Freeman said. "We're a winning team and we're just not winning right now."
The lack of offense doesn't bode well for Mike Minor (6-10, 4.74), who will try to avoid losing a fourth straight start.
Atlanta hasn't provided Minor any run support his last three outings. He allowed one run and five hits in seven innings of a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers last Sunday.
"I thought he was outstanding," said manager Fredi Gonzalez, who noted Minor escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third inning. "He got into a jam early and wiggled out of it. It's nice to see that maturity that he can get out of those jams."
The left-hander has a 0.75 ERA in two starts against the Giants. He surrendered one run and three hits in six innings of a 9-4 loss in 11 innings on July 18, striking out seven.
|August 10, 2012||Chipper Jones||Day-to-Day||Back tightness|
|August 01, 2012||Jair Jurrjens||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|July 31, 2012||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|July 31, 2012||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|July 20, 2012||Matt Diaz||15-Day DL||Right thumb surgery - out for season|
|July 14, 2012||Jack Wilson||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinkie finger|
|San Francisco Giants|
|August 23, 2012||Justin Christian||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|August 22, 2012||Buster Posey||Day-to-Day||Hamstring tightness|
|August 14, 2012||Brad Penny||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
|August 07, 2012||Shane Loux||15-Day DL||Recurring neck strain|
|July 31, 2012||Aubrey Huff||15-Day DL||Strained right knee|
|July 25, 2012||Pablo Sandoval||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jason Heyward credits the crowd as much as anything for his success in San Francisco.
Heyward hit a three-run homer and Mike Minor won for the first time in five starts as the Atlanta Braves beat the Giants 7-3 on Saturday, ending San Francisco's five-game winning streak.
"The crowd always keeps you on your toes here and it's a good environment to play in," Heyward said. "They're always here, it's a good team and they have good pitching, so you have to focus every at-bat."
Heyward became the first left-handed hitter to take Madison Bumgarner deep in two years. The slugger has five home runs and 11 RBIs at the Giants' waterfront ballpark.
"I'm just looking for strikes to hit," Heyward said. "Don't miss the one you get to hit because if you do, he's got you."
Michael Bourn had two hits and drove in two runs for the Braves, who had lost six of seven but still lead the NL wild-card race. Reed Johnson and Martin Prado also knocked in runs.
Minor (7-10) gave up three runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out five and walking none. He also doubled, walked and scored twice.
"I was just trying to get guys out and limit the damage," he said. "I felt good. It's not about being fatigued or anything like that."
Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco had a two-run double for the NL West-leading Giants, who had won eight of 10.
Bumgarner (14-8) allowed four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. He matched his season high with four walks and struck out five, losing for only the second time at home.
"He's been so good all year and I thought he still pitched a pretty good game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He made one mistake and it went for a three-run homer."
Bumgarner walked Minor and Prado around a strikeout of Bourn in the third. Heyward smacked a home run into the right-field bleachers to put the Braves ahead 3-0.
"I kind of got out of whack there," Bumgarner said. "It was a fastball up and over the middle of the plate."
Hunter Pence was hit by a pitch leading off the fifth and scored on Brandon Belt 's groundout to make it 3-1.
Bourn singled home a run in the seventh to make it 4-1.
"We had a good approach," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I was ecstatic about Minor's performance. He minimized the damage and was dominant."
Blanco doubled off Chad Durbin to drive in two runs in the seventh.
Bourn and Prado each walked with the bases loaded against Jeremy Affeldt to force in runs in the eighth. Johnson doubled home a run in the ninth.
"It got a little sloppy there and we let the game get away," Bochy said.
NOTES: San Francisco RHP Eric Hacker was optioned to Triple-A Fresno after the game. The Giants will make a corresponding move Sunday. ... Bumgarner has pitched at least six innings in all but two starts. ... Sonoma Mayor Joanne Saunders declared Dan Uggla Day, honoring the Braves' second baseman. ... RHP Tim Lincecum (7-13, 5.30 ERA) pitches Sunday for the Giants. He won his last outing, beating the Dodgers in Los Angeles. ... Giants OF Francisco Peguero made his major league debut. Baseball America rated him as having the best outfield arm in the system. ... Braves RHP Tim Hudson (12-4, 3.69) pitches Sunday. He is 7-4 against the Giants. ... Atlanta RHP Ben Sheets was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. RHP Miguel Batista was called up from Triple-A. ... Eight of Heyward's last 16 hits have been for extra bases.