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Bumgarner strong as Giants route Mets

BaseballMajor League BaseballMadison BumgarnerSan Francisco GiantsNew York MetsHunter PenceWilmer Flores

The Sports Xchange

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange

Bumgarner strong as Giants route Mets

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets held their "Mr. Met Dash" around the Citi Field bases following Sunday afternoon's game against the San Francisco Giants.

Had Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner remained on the mound for the dash, it would have stopped at second base.

Bumgarner struck out 10 in a dominant two-hit shutout and right fielder Hunter Pence hit two homers and collected four RBIs as the Giants routed the Mets, 9-0.

Pitching two days after his 25th birthday, Bumgarner threw just 94 pitches, including 75 strikes, in his second career shutout and fourth complete game. He walked one -- Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson leading off the first -- and faced three batters over the minimum in the Giants' second two-hitter in three games.

"Wow," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before pausing for four seconds. "Hard to pitch a better game. Efficiently. Just the way he stayed under control for nine innings -- that's one of his better games. Nice, easy delivery, pounded the strike zone."

Unlike the Giants' first two starters in the series, Bumgarner didn't flirt with history Sunday. But Bumgarner was more dominant than right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who opened Friday's game with five no-hit innings before throwing a two-hit complete game in a 5-1 win, or right-hander Jake Peavy, who carried a perfect game into the seventh inning Saturday before giving up four runs in the seventh as the Giants fell, 4-2.

Mets second baseman Wilmer Flores doubled to deep left leading off the third. He was the only Met to get into scoring position against Bumgarner, who set down the next 13 batters before third baseman David Wright's broken-bat single into shallow right field in the seventh.

"When you're feeling good on days like today, you can go after guys," Bumgarner said. "And when your command is good -- getting ahead and getting quick outs -- (you can) get your team back in the dugout."

Bumgarner (13-8) retired eight of the final nine batters he faced. Flores reached on an error by first baseman Brandon Belt in the eighth.

"You throw a shutout, that's always impressive," Bochy said. "But the way he pitched today was fun to watch."

Bumgarner, who has three homers and 12 RBIs this season, also helped himself at the plate by bunting shortstop Brandon Crawford to second just before Pence's two-run homer in the first. In the fifth, Bumgarner singled with one out and scored on Pence's double. And in the seventh, Bumgarner drew a leadoff walk and scored on catcher Buster Posey's two-run homer.

"He helps himself as much as any pitcher," Bochy said.

Bumgarner said he was motivated on the mound by the run support the Giants provided him. San Francisco scored three runs or less in five of his previous seven starts.

"When they give you a lead like that, it makes it a whole lot easier," Bumgarner said.

Pence had just four hits in his previous 37 at-bats before registering his 10th career multi-homer game.

"You don't ever figure this game out," Pence said. "You just play. Continue to try to compete, adjust and be prepared."

Posey finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Belt also hit a solo homer for the Giants, who had just two homers in their previous 10 games, a stretch in which they scored 23 runs.

"We've had our struggles," Bochy said. "We're doing a better job at really keeping the line moving right now and that's always a good thing."

The Giants (60-51) won for the third time in four games to ensure they would retain at least a share of the lead in the National League wild-card race.

The Mets (53-58) have just eight hits in the first three games of the four-game series.

"There is a few guys we have to get going, guys that we depend on to get hits and get on base," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We have to start doing that."

Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon (10-9) failed in his first bid to become the third active pitcher with 200 wins. He gave up six runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out five over 4 2/3 innings.

NOTES: A pair of left-handed hitting Mets, 2B Daniel Murphy and 1B Lucas Duda, got the day off against Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner. 2B Wilmer Flores and 1B Eric Campbell drew the starts instead. ... OF Michael Conforto, the Mets' first-round pick in this year's draft, hit his first professional homer Saturday when he went deep for Class A Brooklyn. ... Giants OF Angel Pagan (back strain) went 1-for-2 Saturday for the Giants' affiliate in the rookie-level Arizona League. Pagan is scheduled to join Triple-A Fresno on Monday. ... Bumgarner recorded 61 wins before turning 25 on Friday. Of the last 10 pitchers to reach 300 wins, only Greg Maddux had 61 wins through his 25th birthday. Both Maddux and Bumgarner reached 61 wins in 141 games.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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