San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner dominated the Philadelphia Phillies the last time he faced them and shoots for an encore performance Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
Bumgarner fired eight shutout innings and struck out six with no walks in a 3-1 win at Philadelphia on July 23. He scattered five hits and improved to 2-2 with a 2.89 earned run average in four career starts against the Phillies.
The southpaw, though, has lost two of his previous three starts overall and toed the rubber in last Friday's 4-2 setback at Kansas City, as he allowed four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in eight innings. Bumgarner, who is 13-9 with a 3.22 earned run average, is 4-5 in his past nine decisions.
In 11 starts at AT&T Park this season, Bumgarner is 4-6 with a 5.60 ERA. He is 1-4 in his last five decisions at home.
San Francisco could use another strong start from its rotation after Jake Peavy tossed seven strong innings in a 7-1 win over the Chicago White Sox Wednesday in the finale of a quick two-game set. Peavy held his former team to a run and four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Angel Pagan had two RBI during a decisive seven-run seventh inning, which was highlighted by an out call at home plate that was overturned. The White Sox had a 1-0 lead in the seventh before Joe Panik hit a broken-bat grounder to first baseman Jose Abreu, who threw home to get Gregor Blanco for what appeared to be the inning's second out.
Blanco slid to the back side of the plate to avoid catcher Tyler Flowers, who tagged him. But Flowers was straddling the plate before the ball arrived and the call was overturned by the MLB replay operations center in New York, tying the game.
"Definitely he was blocking the plate," Blanco said.
Chicago manager Robin Ventura was irate and earned an immediate ejection for coming out of the dugout to argue.
"We made the play and the guy was out," said Ventura. "They don't take into consideration the guy was out by a long shot, so I obviously don't agree with it."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy talked about the play.
"I know this rule has created a lot of controversy and they're talking about maybe tweaking it in the offseason, but it's the rule," Bochy said. "You can't block the plate."
The Giants ended a five-game losing streak and remained 5 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead. The Giants also sit a half-game back for the second wild card spot.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia has lost three in a row and five of its last six games, and was recently swept in a two-game set at the LA Angels.
The Phillies lost the opener in Anaheim, 7-2, and dropped a 4-3 decision Wednesday at the Big A, as A.J. Burnett struggled again to the tune of four runs and five hits in six innings to fall to 6-13.
Carlos Ruiz had three hits and Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown had an RBI apiece for the Phillies, who are 27-32 on the road and winless in the last four games away from home.
"We outhit them (11-6) and had some walks in there," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "We just didn't have the big bat to drive them in."
Cole Hamels gets the call for Sandberg's club Friday and is 6-6 with a 2.37 earned run average, Hamels was unbeaten (4-0) in five starts from July 7-29 and is 0-1 in his past two outings. The lefty did not record a decision in last Friday's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets and hurled seven innings of one- run ball with five strikeouts and three walks.
Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, has pitched at least seven innings in his past six starts and is 4-4 in 11 road assignments this season. In 13 career starts against the Giants, Hamels is 6-3 with a 3.53 ERA. He defeated the Giants on July 24 with eight innings of one-run bal and 10 strikeouts in a 2-1 win at Citizens Bank Park.
The Giants won three of four games in that series in south Philly.