While Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels is enjoying a career-best stretch, Madison Bumgarner hasn’t pitched like a top starter for the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
As Hamels looks to continue his remarkable run, Bumgarner seeks his first quality start at home in two months Friday night when the slumping clubs open a three-game series.
The NL East-worst Phillies (53-68) will try to avoid their fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games as they make their second stop on a five-game California trip.
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They should be in good hands giving the ball to Hamels (6-6, 2.37 ERA), who hasn’t allowed more than one run while going at least seven innings in each of his last five outings – the longest such streak of his career. He is 3-1 with a 0.73 ERA in that span.
"He’s on a terrific run," manager Ryne Sandberg told MLB’s official website. "He goes out and just pitches his tail off. He’s very consistent. He has good stuff again. You almost come to expect it."
The three-time All-Star hasn’t allowed an earned run over 15 innings in his last two road outings, and gave up one run in a complete-game 2-1 win in his most recent start at AT&T Park in August 2011.
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA in five starts versus San Francisco since the beginning of 2011. He surrendered one run with 10 strikeouts over eight innings in a 2-1 home victory July 24 that was Philadelphia’s only win in that four-game set.
Buster Posey went 1 for 3 with a walk when facing Hamels in that contest, and he’s 8 for 14 with a homer and four doubles lifetime in the matchup. He’s also hitting .408 in his 18 career regular-season games against the Phillies.
The two-time All-Star catcher went 2 for 4 with a triple Wednesday to help the Giants (63-57) snap a five-game losing streak with a 7-1 home win over the Chicago White Sox.
The Giants had averaged 2.9 runs over their previous 18 games before scoring seven times in the seventh inning for their eighth win in their last 30 at home. All the runs came after an out call at home was reversed by a replay review.
Now Bumgarner (13-9, 3.22) will try to put an end to his struggles at AT&T Park, where he’s 1-3 with a 6.99 ERA in five starts since June 10. Only the Chicago Cubs’ Edwin Jackson (8.55), Boston’s Clay Buchholz (7.06) and Arizona’s Wade Miley (7.06) have higher home ERAs during that span.
The left-hander, who is 9-3 with a 1.72 ERA in 14 road starts, took a tough loss Friday when he limited Kansas City to three earned runs en route to his second straight complete game in a 4-2 road defeat.
"He hadn’t thrown 100 pitches the last couple starts," manager Bruce Bochy said. "His load’s been somewhat light. It’s good to get stretched out occasionally."
Bumgarner allowed five hits over eight shutout innings in a 3-1 win at Philadelphia on July 23, improving to 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies.
Ben Revere has gone 4 for 5 with a double and two RBIs all-time when facing Bumgarner, but Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard are a combined 3 for 25.
Revere is batting .378 in his last eight games after he had two hits in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.