SAN FRANCISCO — Left-hander Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to return to the San Francisco Giants’ starting rotation to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a four-game series on Sunday.
Bumgarner (3-6, 2.85 ERA), who will be opposed by Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver, had to be scratched from a scheduled start in the series opener Thursday night with an illness.
He has pitched well since making a comeback from a separated shoulder suffered in April, going 3-3 with a 2.78 ERA in nine starts after being reinstated from the disabled list on July 15.
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Bumgarner is 3-4 with a 3.97 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals, but that doesn’t count going 1-1 with a 4.19 ERA in three postseason outings against St. Louis in 2012 and 2014.
In fact, he hasn’t faced the Cardinals since Game 5 of the 2014 National League Championship Series, in which he pitched the first eight innings of a 6-3 win that sent the Giants to the World Series.
Bumgarner has a chance to pitch the Giants not only to a split of the four-game series but also a season-series win over the playoff-contending Cardinals. The teams have split six games thus far.
The Giants will take the field Sunday riding the momentum of a come-from-behind, 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Saturday that ended on a walk-off home run by catcher Nick Hundley in the 10th inning.
It was a game neither starting pitcher — the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija and Cardinals’ Lance Lynn — deserved to lose, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy assured afterward.
“Two pitchers on top of their game. Probably as good as we’ve seen all year,” Bochy gushed. “Samardzija did a terrific job, and their guy did the same.”
Weaver (3-1, 2.48 ERA) will be making his 13th career start and second against the Giants. The first did not go well.
He failed to get out of the third inning in an 8-2 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park last September, having allowed six unearned runs.
The 24-year-old is coming off consecutive 10-strikeout performances in 6-2 and 10-2 wins. He went 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in August.
Weaver has some big shoes to fill in following up Lynn’s performance Saturday. The veteran had a one-hit shutout going through eight innings before getting pulled after 101 pitches.
The Giants went on to tie the score against the St. Louis bullpen in the ninth before winning it on Hundley’s homer in the 10th.
“They weren’t going to let me go out there (in the ninth), but I started developing a blister and the last two innings I felt the effects,” Lynn noted. “I’m lucky to get through eight.”
Whether it was because of the unseasonably hot weather or a hangover from Friday’s late dramatics in an 11-6 Cardinals win, there were just two extra-base hits — both in the 10th inning — in Saturday’s overtime affair.
Friday’s game featured eight extra-base hits by the Cardinals alone, including four triples and three home runs.