The San Francisco Giants' lefty was just that as he struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings. But it was not much of a pitchers' duel, as Burmgarner's teammates scored seven times off the St. Louis Cardinals' ace on their way to a 9-4 win.
Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer off Wainwright, who was chased in the fifth.
Bumgarner (7-3) allowed three hits and matched a season high for strikeouts set in his previous start against Minnesota. He walked one.
He said pitching against Wainwright gave him all the incentive he needed.
"You know you've got to be on it," Bumgarner said. "You're geared up for a 1-0 game. Fortunately for us, he didn't have it tonight. The offense did an unbelievable job scoring runs off somebody like that."
Bumgarner said he's been getting on top of the ball more, which has allowed him to hit both sides of the plate.
"He was really good tonight," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He was really hitting his spots on both sides. He's really been solid with his command here lately and he carried that into today's game against a tough lineup."
San Francisco has won eight of nine and owns the best record in the majors at 36-19.
Pence had two hits and scored twice. Pablo Sandoval extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single and a double, but his run of nine straight games with an RBI was snapped.
"That's just the way it is," Sandoval said. "There's not much you can do about it."
Angel Pagan had two hits and scored twice for the Giants.
"I think we've got a really good team all the way around and we've showed it," Bumgarner said. "The defense was really good. It was just a good team win tonight."
Wainwright (8-3) entered with a 20-inning scoreless streak and a major league-leading 1.67 ERA. He was trying to become the first nine-game winner in the National League, but lasted just 4 1/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on eight hits. His ERA jumped to 2.32.
"It's a very deep lineup," Wainwright said. "When you take a guy like (Buster) Posey out of the lineup and still have a very dangerous squad, you know you have a deep lineup."
The Giants wasted no time ending Wainwright's shutout streak. Pagan led off the game with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on Pence's fly to right and scored on Michael Morse's two-out single.
San Francisco then broke the game open by scoring four times off Wainwright in the second inning after the first two batters were retired.
Brandon Hicks kept the inning going by coaxing a walk. Hicks went to third on Bumgarner's single to left and scored when Pagan followed with a single to center. Pence then hit a 447-foot shot into the third deck in left field to make it 5-0.
"He said he felt fine," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said about Wainwright. "I think it was just one of those nights. He's had so many good ones this year, you're going to have those every once in a while."
Wainwright was pulled after allowing a single to Sandoval and a double by Morse with one out in the fifth. Sandoval and Morse both ended up scoring on Blanco's two-out single off reliever Seth Maness.
The Giants own the National League's best road winning percentage at .630 (17-10). ... The Cardinals announced after the game that 1B Matt Adams (left calf) was going on the disabled list and top prospect Oscar Taveras will be called up from the minors. ... Yusmeiro Petit (3-2) will start Saturday for San Francisco in place of Matt Cain, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring. Petit will be opposed by Michael Wacha (3-3). ... San Francisco is 27-5 when scoring first. ... Matt Carpenter had two hits for the Cardinals, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.