Madison Bumgarner is on the verge of winning a season best-tying third consecutive start after turning in a brilliant performance earlier in the week.
The surging San Francisco Giants haven't lost since.Bumgarner and the Giants go for a three-game home sweep against the slumping Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.After winning 5-3 at Wrigley Field on Aug. 21, Bumgarner (15-9, 3.02 ERA) matched a career high with 13 strikeouts in a one-hitter against Colorado on Tuesday. The left-hander retired the first 21 batters he faced before giving up a double to lead off the eighth inning, the only baserunner he allowed in the 3-0 victory."It's a cool thing to do and a good individual accomplishment, but that's not important to me," Bumgarner told MLB's official website. "It's definitely an amazing accomplishment, but when it comes down to it, we're trying to win games; it's not about something about yourself."The fact that we won was more than enough. That's all we're trying to do anyway."Bumgarner is 3-2 against the Brewers with a 1.67 ERA, his second-lowest mark against any team he's faced more than once.The Giants (73-62) have outscored foes 27-6 during a five-game winning streak after holding on for a 3-1 victory Saturday. Michael Morse drove in two runs and Jake Peavy carried a no-hitter into the eighth before Mark Reynolds singled with one out in the inning."That doesn't happen too often," second baseman Joe Panik said. "To have Bum and Peavy come so close, it's pretty special."San Francisco won a season-best six in a row April 29-May 5.The Brewers (73-62) have dropped seven of nine, including four straight by a 23-6 score. Milwaukee is hitting .165 during the four-game skid and sits just one ahead of St. Louis for the NL Central lead."You know what's going on, it's all over every ballpark," Reynolds said. "But we just have to take care of business."Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez is hitless in his last 13 at-bats with eight strikeouts and is 2 for his last 21 at San Francisco. Ryan Braun is batting .118 during a nine-game stretch in San Francisco.Kyle Lohse (12-7, 3.42) had dropped three consecutive decisions before winning 10-1 at San Diego on Monday. He worked around four walks, yielding one run over six innings in his first outing since aggravating an ankle injury Aug. 13."The ankle was fine," Lohse said. "I'm not used to having almost two weeks off late in the season. Everything else has been feeling good but I just needed a little break to get ahead of the ankle soreness."Lohse is 2-1 with a 3.97 ERA in four outings against San Francisco since 2011, including playoffs. Morse is 7 for 17 with a homer and three doubles in their regular-season matchups.The Giants, seeking their first home sweep against the Brewers since 2007, have taken six of eight home meetings in the series while outscoring Milwaukee 35-20.San Francisco's Hunter Pence is batting .362 with two homers, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored during a 12-game hitting streak. He's hit safely in six straight against the Brewers, going 10 for 25 with four RBIs.
Madison Bumgarner is throwing his slider 36 percent of the time this season, tops among qualified left-handed pitchers. The Brewers are hitting an NL-worst .136 and slugging an NL-worst .190 this season in at-bats ending with a slider from a lefty.