Giants-Tigers Preview

Considering the San Francisco Giants needed to use their bullpen

extensively in a second straight walk-off loss, they could use an

impressive starting performance in their opener at Comerica

Park.

A repeat of Madison Bumgarner’s latest effort would certainly

suffice.

The left-hander bounced back from the worst outing of his career

with one of his best, something he’ll look to build on when he

makes his interleague road debut Friday night against the Detroit

Tigers.

Bumgarner (4-9, 3.84 ERA) had a 2.03 ERA in 10 starts from April

27-June 15, but he only recorded one out and was charged with eight

runs in falling 9-2 to Minnesota on June 21.

Five days later, he proved the standard he’d set over the

previous seven weeks was no exception. Bumgarner struck out a

career-high 11 and held Cleveland to a run and six hits over seven

innings in a 3-1 win.

“He’s a big kid. He has a good head on his shoulders,” reliever

Jeremy Affeldt said of the 21-year-old Bumgarner. “That was

awesome. That was probably bigger than just a good outing for him.

I think it was a big part of his maturing process.”

After recovering from his poor outing at home, Bumgarner should

be happy to hit the road for just the second time since May 30.

He’s posted a 1.99 ERA and turned in six consecutive quality starts

away from AT&T Park.

The Giants (46-36) will simply be happy to leave Wrigley Field

after the past two days. San Francisco swept a doubleheader from

the Cubs on Tuesday to extend its winning streak to seven, but

Aramis Ramirez denied the NL West leaders wins Wednesday and

Thursday.

Ramirez singled in Tony Campana in the ninth inning to give

Chicago a 2-1 win Wednesday, then hit a tying blast in the ninth

off closer Brian Wilson on Thursday. The Giants took the lead in

the top of the 13th, but Ramon Ramirez surrendered a three-run

homer to Geovany Soto to give the Cubs a 5-2 victory.

Manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t upset with a relief corps that gave

him 5 2-3 innings, though. He was more concerned about an offense

that went 10 1-3 innings without a hit at one point against

Chicago’s bullpen.

“We’ve got to get these bats going,” Bochy said. “We’ve got some

guys who are scuffling. So, we’ll have to make some changes

here.”

Detroit (44-38) had a much more pleasant sendoff against the

Mets after two ugly losses. The Tigers gave up 30 runs to New York

on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Justin Verlander helped them salvage

Thursday’s finale with seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-2

victory.

“Each day is a new day in baseball, and that’s the beautiful

thing about this. They go out and score however many runs in two

days with a bunch of hits, but you turn the page,” Verlander

said.

Brad Penny (5-6, 4.66) gets the ball in the opener for Detroit,

and he’s fared well against the NL in his past two starts despite

getting little support. He held the Dodgers to two runs over six

innings in a 4-0 loss June 20, then limited Arizona to two runs

over 6 2-3 innings Sunday and left without a decision in an 8-3

win.

Penny, who made six starts for San Francisco down the stretch in

2009, has enjoyed facing his former team. He’s 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA

in three starts against the Giants since 2008.

Aubrey Huff is 0 for 13 against Penny, but Pablo Sandoval and

Andres Torres are a combined 6 for 7.

Detroit will be short-handed in the bullpen for this series,

having placed reliever Al Alburquerque on the 15-day disabled list

Friday due to inflammation in his right forearm. The rookie

right-hander has been outstanding, going 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 47

strikeouts in 29 innings.