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Madison Bumgarner is strong as the Giants reach .500



SAN FRANCISCO – There are more than regional bragging rights at stake in this year's Bay Bridge Series between the Giants and A's. Both clubs are in the Wild Card mix in their respective leagues, adding an extra degree of importance to these Interleague games.
                        The Giants were able to

SAN FRANCISCO – There are more than regional bragging rights at stake in this year's Bay Bridge Series between the Giants and A's. Both clubs are in the Wild Card mix in their respective leagues, adding an extra degree of importance to these Interleague games.

The Giants were able to further their cause at their cross-bay rivals' expense Tuesday, riding a brilliant effort from Madison Bumgarner to a 3-2 series-opening win over the A's at Oracle Park.

Bumgarner allowed only a home run to Stephen Piscotty over seven innings, outdueling A's counterpart Brett Anderson, who carried a shutout into the sixth inning before the Giants' offense finally began to stir.

Buster Posey Evan Longoria and Kevin Pillar delivered three consecutive doubles to erase a one-run deficit and put the Giants ahead, 2-1, in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett added a pivotal insurance run the following inning on a sacrifice fly.

• Box score

The A's made it interesting in the ninth, loading the bases with one out against closer Will Smith. Mark Canha worked a walk to force in a run and brought Oakland within one, but Smith struck out Chad Pinder to seal the Giants' win and pick up his 29th save of the season.

After opening their homestand with a sweep at the hands of the Nationals, the Giants (60-60) have now won three in a row to climb back to .500 for the first time since Aug. 2.

Bumgarner extended his recent stretch of dominance against the A’s, yielding only two hits while striking out nine and walking none. The 30-year-old left-hander has logged a 2.61 ERA over his last 10 outings, with the Giants winning nine of those starts.

The lone blemish for Bumgarner came in the fifth, when he surrendered Piscotty's shot on an inside fastball. Marcus Semien delivered the only other hit off Bumgarner, leading off the game with a popup to shallow right field that first baseman Aramis Garcia, a catcher by trade, allowed to fall for a single.

Bumgarner has become a vital anchor for the Giants' pitching staff, which is down to three starters following injuries to Shaun Anderson and Conner Menez's demotion to Triple-A Sacramento. The Giants have received inconsistent performances from the back end of their rotation, which has featured a trio of rookies in Anderson, Menez and Tyler Beede, but Bumgarner and fellow veteran Jeff Samardzija have combined to form a reliable tandem at the front end. [19659012] Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.


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