This same line of thinking didn't help Ryan Vogelsong in the Giants' series opener, though.
Bumgarner hopes to avoid losing his fourth straight start and help NL West-leading San Francisco even up its series with the last-place Rockies on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
The Giants' division lead was trimmed to five games over idle Los Angeles with a 6-5 loss to Colorado (57-83) on Monday, just their fourth defeat in 12 meetings this year. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence each homered in helping San Francisco (79-62) reach the five-run mark, which is usually enough for a win, but Vogelsong again struggled."We've just got to put this one behind us," Bruce Bochy said after the Giants fell to 24-3 when scoring at least five runs since the All-Star break. "You like having a five-game lead because it does give you a margin of error. But you don't want to slide in the back door. We need to win ballgames."
Vogelsong allowed four runs in five innings, and now has a 9.57 ERA in his last six starts. He came into the game 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in six starts versus Colorado with the Giants.
Bumgarner (14-10, 3.15 ERA) has enjoyed similar success against the Rockies, but also like Vogelsong, he's been struggling lately.
Bumgarner, who's making his third start in the season series, has posted a 0.66 ERA in winning his last four against the Rockies, and has yielded two runs or fewer in each of his last seven starts against them. He's allowed one run in each of his last three starts at Coors Field, winning each.
Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez , who is 1 for 16 in his last five games, has had some success against Bumgarner, though, batting .368 with two homers and two doubles in 19 career at-bats.
While Bumgarner has routinely shut down the Rockies, little has come easy for the left-hander lately. He has a 6.48 ERA in losing his last three starts after sporting a 1.93 ERA in his previous eight. Against Arizona on Wednesday, he permitted four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-2 defeat.
Colorado counters with Jhoulys Chacin (2-5, 4.50), who has allowed one run in each of his four starts after a 3 1/2-month stint with right shoulder inflammation, but wasn't particularly sharp in his latest outing.
In Atlanta on Thursday, he gave up seven hits and three walks and was done after 3 1-3 innings in a 1-0 loss. The lone run scored in the second inning, when Chacin dropped the ball when his catcher threw it back between pitches and Juan Francisco alertly scored from third with a headfirst slide.
The right-hander made his season debut against the Giants on April 9, allowing four runs in four innings of a 7-0 loss. He's got a 5.40 ERA in losing his last three starts in the series, and hasn't had much luck containing Pablo Sandoval , who is 7 for 14 with two homers, a double and a triple in their matchups.
Chacin will also have to be careful facing Posey, who is 2 for 4 against him, and 7 for 12 with two homers and four RBIs in his last three games. The All-Star catcher is batting .538 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in his last seven games versus Colorado.
|San Francisco Giants|
|September 06, 2012||Xavier Nady||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|August 27, 2012||Clay Hensley||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|August 23, 2012||Justin Christian||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|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|
|September 10, 2012||Ramon Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring strain|
|August 22, 2012||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Left game - right ankle injury|
|August 20, 2012||Eric Young||15-Day DL||Left intercostal strain|
|August 19, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|August 19, 2012||Josh Rutledge||Day-to-Day||Left game - left quad tightness|
|August 14, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Chest soreness|
DENVER (AP) -- Madison Bumgarner had all sorts of trouble throwing his fastball. He had no problems hitting one.
The young lefty hit a three-run homer on a night when he struggled on the mound, and the San Francisco Giants held on for a 9-8 win over the Colorado Rockies in rainy conditions Tuesday.
"I'm all for helping us win. But my job is to go out there and pitch, not to hit," Bumgarner said. "I'd like to go out there and pitch better than that."
Bumgarner was roughed up by the Rockies, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings. Still, he gave the Giants a big boost with his bat, sending a 93 mph fastball from Jhoulys Chacin into the left-field seats.
Sitting on that fastball?
"I'm just trying to hit the baseball," he said.
It's definitely a pitch Chacin would love to have back.
"I know he's a good hitter, and in those situations you can't miss your spot," Chacin said. "It was a really bad pitch to him."
Brandon Belt had a big night at the plate as well, breaking a tie in the fifth with a two-run double. He also brought in a run on a fielder's choice and added a solo homer for the NL West leaders, who are 20-7 on the road since the All-Star break.
With Bumgarner's early exit, the Giants' bullpen picked up the slack and allowed just one run heading into the ninth.
But that's when things got interesting. Sergio Romo entered the game and allowed a two-out, two-run homer to pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin . Lefty Javier Lopez was then summoned to face Jason Giambi and got the slugger to pop up to end the game.
Like that, the Giants gained another game on the Los Angeles Dodgers , who lost 1-0 to Arizona. San Francisco now has a six-game cushion with 20 to play.
"A lot of baseball still," manager Bruce Bochy cautioned. "We've got to keep focused on what we're doing. We've got our hands full right now."
After a shaky outing from Chacin, Carlos Torres (4-2) took over in the fifth and promptly ran into trouble. Belt gave the Giants the lead for good when he doubled off the glove of Carlos Gonzalez in left. As the ball rolled into the corner, Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey came around to score.
"I thought he was going to come back with a fast ball and that's what he did," Belt explained. "He put it in a place I could handle, I put a good one on it and it fell in for me."
Chris Nelson , Wilin Rosario , Jordan Pacheco , Matt McBride and Gonzalez all had RBI singles for the Rockies.
Down 4-0 in the fourth, the Giants rallied to tie it. The big blow was Bumgarner's three-run shot - a no-doubter, too, as Gonzalez briefly turned to give chase before watching it leave the park.
Bumgarner's only other major league homer came three months ago against Houston.
"It kind of turned the tables a little bit," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "That's not the first time that I've sat there and seen him square up a mislocated fastball. We've seen that before."
While Bumgarner shined at the plate - also lacing a single - he never found a groove on the mound. That's unusual for Bumgarner in this park, where he had allowed just two earned runs in his last three starts at Coors Field.
Giants reliever George Kontos (2-1) picked up the win by bailing the Giants out of a tight spot in the fifth with two strikeouts.
The quirky Colorado weather befuddled the Giants in the third inning. With San Francisco about to bat, the wind and rain moved in, making the conditions almost look like swirling snow. Chacin yielded two singles, but wiggled out of the jam when Pablo Sandoval flew out.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning, the rain all but vanished.
And the Rockies took full advantage of the change in weather. Chacin ignited a three-run inning with a leadoff double. He later scored when Josh Rutledge hit into a double play. Bumgarner then gave up four straight hits, including run-scoring singles to Rosario and Pacheco.
Colorado scored a run in the second on Nelson's RBI single. Bumgarner escaped any further trouble by getting DJ LeMahieu to hit into an inning-ending double play.
NOTES: The Giants reinstated RHP Clay Hensley (groin) from the disabled list. ... RHP Tim Lincecum (8-14) will start Wednesday against LHP Jeff Francis (5-4). ... Dodgers OF Angel Pagan had his 12th triple of the season. It ties Steve Finley (2006) and Willie Mays (1960) for most in the San Francisco-era history for a single season. ... LHP Jorge De La Rosa (elbow) threw 3 2-3 innings and gave up one run Monday for Class-A Modesto. "He feels as normal as anyone would feel (the day after) they've started a game," Tracy said. "I heard nothing about his arm, his elbow. It's all very encouraging."
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