Giants 8, Dodgers 1

Madison Bumgarner didn’t have much problem handling the Los
Angeles Dodgers while stopping another losing streak for the
Giants.

Convincing manager Bruce Bochy to let him finish out the season
may be a bit more difficult.

San Francisco’s most reliable starter over the last three weeks,
Bumgarner has already logged more than 186 innings on the mound
this season. With their postseason hopes dimming almost every day,
the Giants plan to take a cautious approach the rest of the way
with their young left-hander.

”We had a little concern, not much, with how much he pitched
the year before,” Bochy said after Bumgarner allowed three hits
over five innings in San Francisco’s 7-1 win Sunday. ”I just like
where he’s at right now. He worked hard today but made some great
pitches.”

Bumgarner won his fourth straight start, Pablo Sandoval doubled
home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and the Giants beat the
Dodgers to avoid a three-game sweep.

Bumgarner (11-12) struck out eight and walked three, matching
the longest winning streak of his career and improving to 8-3 with
a 2.73 ERA since June 26.

”I’m just making better pitches and having a little better luck
at the same time,” Bumgarner said while insisting his arm strength
is fine despite closing in on the 200-inning mark.

”I don’t know if I’ve gotten stronger. I still feel good. I’m
not worried about wins and losses for me. The biggest thing is
innings. You want to stay out there and pitch late. That’s probably
the most important thing.”

Six of Bumgarner’s victories, including each of the last four,
have came after Giants losses.

It’s probably too little too late for the defending World Series
champions, who snapped a three-game losing streak and trail NL
West-leading Arizona by 8 1/2 games. When San Francisco scored two
runs in the fifth and five in the sixth, it marked the first time
since July 3 that the Giants scored multiple runs in consecutive
innings.

Slumping Aubrey Huff had two hits and a bases-loaded walk in his
first start since Monday. Sandoval finished with a career-high
three doubles, tying a Giants regular-season record at AT&T
Park.

”It seems to be starting a little late,” Huff said. ”You
could tell when we got a three-run lead, everyone relaxed and we
started scoring more.”

Tony Gwynn Jr. doubled in the Dodgers’ run but struck out with
the potential tying run at second base in the sixth. Los Angeles
lost for only the third time in 13 games.

San Francisco had gone 18 consecutive scoreless innings until
breaking through against starter Hiroki Kuroda, who had not lost in
four previous appearances at the Giants.

Sandoval drove in Jeff Keppinger for a 2-1 lead in the fifth and
Huff followed with an RBI single on an 0-2 pitch. In a 5-for-36
(.139) slump coming in, Huff also walked with the bases loaded
against Scott Elbert during a five-run sixth.

In the second, Huff doubled leading off after initially thinking
he had a home run. The ball hit the top of the fence and bounced
back onto the field, but second base umpire John Hirschbeck ruled
the ball was still in play. Umpires upheld the call following a
video review.

It was reminiscent of San Francisco’s win over Texas in Game 2
of the World Series last year when the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler hit a
ball to almost the same spot as Huff did. Kinsler was also given a
double on the play.

Three batters later, Eli Whiteside singled in Huff with San
Francisco’s first run.

”I was touching first and everybody thought it was a homer,”
Huff said. ”I’m like, ‘Homer? I hit it high enough to get out?’ I
scored, so it’s kind of a moot point.”

Kuroda (11-16) allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 2-3
innings, his shortest outing since getting only 12 outs against San
Diego on Aug. 2 last year.

”For the most part it looks like he isn’t able to locate like
he usually does,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ”Everybody
is entitled to this kind of stretch. He’s not going to cave in.
It’s not like he’s missing with everything.”

Cody Ross hit a bases-loaded double and pinch-hitter Mark De
Rosa added a two-run single in the sixth.

Los Angeles scored its lone run in the second and had a chance
for more with the bases loaded before Bumgarner worked his way out
of it. He got Kuroda to ground into a force play at home then
retired Dee Gordon on a comebacker.

The Dodgers managed only four runners the rest of the way and
ended their trip 7-3.

NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game to
commemorate the victims of 9/11. There was no ceremonial first
pitch; instead, Bochy walked out to the field alone and left a ball
on the pitching mound. … The previous San Francisco player to
have three doubles in one home game was Nate Schierholtz on Sept.
24, 2008. … The Giants activated LHP Barry Zito from the 15-day
DL. Bochy plans to use Zito as a spot starter and out of the
bullpen. … Eric Surkamp (1-0) pitches for San Francisco in the
series opener against San Diego on Monday. The rookie lefty beat
the Padres on Sept. 6 for his only career win in the majors. …
Dodgers LHP Ted Lilly (9-13), who tied his season high of nine
strikeouts in his previous start, will pitch for Los Angeles in the
opener of a three-game set with Arizona.