Bumgarner, Byrd form winning combo for Giants
(The Sports Xchange) - Madison Bumgarner struck out 12 batters in just six innings on Thursday, pitching the Giants to a 9-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs and earning his 16th win of the season.
Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer in the third innings while second baseman Kelby Tomlinson hit his first major-league homer, an eighth-inning grand slam, for the Giants to give Bumgarner all the support he needed.
San Francisco (68-59) remain 2-1/2 games behind the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs now head to Los Angeles to face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.
Chicago (73-53) fell 3-1/2 games behind idle Pittsburgh (76-49) in the battle for the NL's first wild-card spot.
"You've got to learn how to understand and bounce back from a loss," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The way you do that: You're maybe upset for about 30 minutes and you move on."
Bumgarner only surrendered two hits, both of which came in succession in the second inning, when Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo singled and then scored on a double by second baseman Starlin Castro.
Other than one walk later in the inning and another in the fifth, the Cubs had no other baserunners against the reigning World Series Most Valuable Player, who left after throwing 98 pitches.
"We had a chance to give him a break," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said when asked why he removed Bumgarner early. Continued...