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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.
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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.

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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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