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Madison Bumgarner sharp as Giants beat Rangers

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Gregory Bull/AP
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner didn’t have much trouble against the Rangers and retired the last eight batters he faced.

Facing a lineup packed with big-leaguers helped the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner get a bit of a regular-season feel.
Bumgarner pitched four-hit ball for four innings and struck out four in the Giants’ 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday.

“It went pretty good,” said Bumgarner, who went 16-11 with a 3.37 ERA last year. “I was happy with it. I said before, each time is a step in the right direction and each time has been a little bit better.”

Bumgarner, who had not thrown more than two innings in three prior starts, walked Lance Berkman in the first and gave up a double to Mitch Moreland in the second before retiring the final eight batters he faced.

Bumgarner’s outing was far less eventful than Texas starter Yu Darvish’s third start.

Darvish retired six of the first seven batters he faced but struggled a bit in the third. The right-hander allowed infield singles to Kensuke Tanaka and Tony Abreu before Hunter Pence laced a hard double into the left-field corner to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.

It was the first run Darvish had allowed this spring.

Mike Olt, an infielder playing right field for Texas, closed out Darvish’s outing with a diving catch of a line drive by Buster Posey.

Pence struck again in the fifth, following Nick Noonan’s triple to right-center off Rangers closer Joe Nathan with a triple to left.

NOTES: San Francisco will play host to Japan in a scrimmage Thursday at 1 p.m. at Scottsdale Stadium. … The Giants lead the NL with 12 triples in 16 games. San Francisco led the majors with 57 triples, the first time the Giants topped that category since 1973. … Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum, sidelined his past two starts because of a blister on the middle finger of right hand, will return to action tonight against San Diego.

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