Madison Bumgarner was nearly perfect the last time he faced the Colorado Rockies. He's been awfully good lately, too.
The San Francisco Giants hope he can replicate last year's dominant outing - and his recent success - in Sunday's series finale with the visiting Rockies.
Bumgarner (7-4, 3.04 ERA) struck out 13 and allowed one hit in a 3-0 home victory versus Colorado on Aug. 26. The left-hander retired the first 21 batters he faced before Justin Morneau's eighth-inning double.
He improved to 9-3 in his last 15 starts against the Rockies and 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA in nine career matchups at AT&T Park.
Bumgarner has had some tough luck of late, though, losing twice in three starts despite a 1.93 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 23 1-3 innings. He received no run support in back-to-back outings and got two against San Diego on Tuesday, when he struck out a career-high 14 and gave up two runs over 7 1-3 in the Giants' 11-inning loss.
"That's a tough one to lose," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Bum threw so well again. That's what makes it tough, to get that kind of pitching and can't come away with a win."
The Rockies (33-41) have wreaked havoc on opposing pitchers lately, hitting .319 while averaging 7.7 runs over the last six games - including a 17-hit effort in Friday's 8-6 victory. They scored three first-inning runs Saturday before losing 7-5.
Nolan Arenado doubled to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, during which he's 20 for 54 with 13 extra-base hits and 18 RBIs. He also matched a franchise record by tallying a hit and scoring a run for the 11th straight game. Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Blackmon are both 16 for 44 during 11-game hitting streaks.
Carlos Gonzalez is 14 for 40 with five homers and three doubles off Bumgarner, while Tulowitzki is 10 for 26 with two of each.
San Francisco (41-35) went ahead Saturday on Andrew Susac's three-run double in the seventh inning while Buster Posey was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, upping his total to nine over his last four games. Matt Duffy finished a triple shy of the cycle and is hitting .356 with 10 RBIs in his last 11 games.
Kyle Kendrick (3-9, 5.96) has struggled in his last three starts against the Giants, going 0-2 with an 8.68 ERA. He gave up four runs and walked three in 6 1-3 innings of an 11-8 loss May 22 in Denver.
Kendrick has allowed a major league-high 21 home runs. Baseball's highest total last season was 29 by Marco Estrada.
He was the winner in Tuesday's 10-5 victory over Arizona despite giving up three homers and four runs in six innings. He has just two quality starts in his last seven outings.
"They hit a few longballs on him, but he hung in there," manager Walt Weiss told MLB's official website.
Casey McGehee, Brandon Belt and Justin Maxwell all have homered against Kendrick, while Posey is 6 for 12 off the right-hander.
San Francisco may have to adjust its rotation moving forward after Tim Lincecum left in the second inning Saturday when he took D.J. LeMahieu's liner off his right elbow.
"He got hit pretty good," Bochy said. "He might need a break."