Madison Bumgarner had an 0.60 ERA in his last two starts, but the Giants went 0-2 in those starts. Bumgarner dominated again on Friday, and his offense finally backed him.
Brandon Belt snapped out of a funk and hit a home run and a triple, both of which helped the Giants top the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1. Belt and Brandon Crawford drove in two runs, and the two combined to score three runs.
The Giants appeared to be destined to fail to score in the seventh inning after Rays starter Chris Archer retired the first two batters, but a dribbler from Hunter Pence turned into a crucial two-out hit. That led to Archer’s unraveling.
Belt crushed a ball into left-center field for an RBI triple, and Crawford hit the next pitch into the right-field bleachers for a two-run home run. That gave the Giants a 4-1 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.
Bumgarner let Ben Zobrist hit a deep fly ball in the seventh inning, but it stayed in the park. Bumgarner got out of the seventh inning unscathed and finished a solid start, one in which he earned his 11th win.
Sergio Romo earned his 26th save as well, as he induced a pop-up and a lineout to finish off his two-out save. Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez also pitched, and they combined to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings.
Tampa Bay, which is 64-45, went cold today, as its only run came on an RBI single from Zobrist. San Francisco’s offense wasn’t great, but it pounded Archer in the seventh inning and did enough to support Bumgarner.
Now, for the first time since May 10-12, the Giants have a three-game winning streak. And, for the first time in a long time, they have a glimmer of hope.