D’backs’ Buchholz seeks another quality start vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — One day after the San Francisco Giants got a boost, even in defeat, from the return of Madison Bumgarner, the Arizona Diamondbacks hope to continue to build upon the positive vibes created by their own comeback story when the clubs wrap up a three-game series Wednesday.

The Diamondbacks will seek to win a series from the Giants for the third time this season when Clay Buchholz goes for his fourth consecutive impressive start since being claimed off the scrap heap.

Arizona got even in the series Tuesday night in a 3-2 win in which the Diamondbacks’ hottest pitcher, Patrick Corbin, needed to be at his best to outduel Bumgarner in his season debut.

The San Francisco ace had the start of his season delayed more than two months by a broken bone in his left hand that resulted from getting hit by a line drive in spring training.

Bumgarner gave further encouragement to a hot club with six strong innings, allowing just two runs.

“You get your guy back, it does a lot for your club, no doubt about it. It’s good for everybody,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy gushed after the game. “He’s only going to get stronger.”

The Diamondbacks hope the same is true for Buchholz (1-1, 1.50), a former two-time All-Star and 17-game winner for the Boston Red Sox.

The 33-year-old has struggled in recent years, hitting rock bottom when he couldn’t get a major league start for the Kansas City Royals this season.

He exercised an opt-out in his contract May 1, and has been a godsend to the Diamondbacks since signing on with them.

Buchholz has allowed one run in each of his first three starts for Arizona, progressing from five innings in his first start to six in his second to seven in his third. He’s given up just 10 hits over those 18 innings.

This from a guy who wasn’t sure where his career was headed five weeks ago.

“I’m not going to quit,” he demanded. “As an professional athlete, you have to have some drive and you have to know good things are going to come. That’s why I landed here. I feel like I’m healthy.”

Buchholz’s only career start in San Francisco was a short one. An American League pitcher forced to bat in a National League park, he hyperextended his left knee running the bases after having thrown just one shutout inning for the Red Sox in 2010.

It’s his only career head-to-head with the Giants.

San Francisco will counter with Chris Stratton (7-3, 4.50), who like Buchholz will take the mound Wednesday in fine form. He’s won his last four starts, blanking the Philadelphia Phillies over six innings in his most recent outing Friday.

Stratton pitched well, but without a decision, in a 4-3 win at Arizona in April. He held the Diamondbacks to one run in seven innings in that start.

He’s made four career starts against Arizona, going 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA.

The Giants enter the series finale having won five of their last six games. The Diamondbacks have won six of their last eight.