ATLANTA — Madison Bumgarner loves how the San Francisco Giants have returned to their winning ways with a tough part of the schedule coming up.
San Francisco is about to begin a month-long stretch that includes eight series against contending teams. Bumgarner likes his team’s chances.
“It’s getting about that time where we start hitting our stride,” he said, “and everything’s coming together for us.”
Bumgarner pitched into the eighth inning, Kelby Tomlinson drove in three runs and San Francisco beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 on Wednesday night.
Matt Duffy added a two-run double and Hunter Pence had an RBI single for the Giants, who have won 16 of 21.
Bumgarner (12-6), last year’s World Series MVP and a three-time All-Star, allowed seven hits, one run and struck out nine in 7 1-3 innings. Just two baserunners made it into scoring position against the big left-hander.
“He got us where he needed to because the bullpen’s really been used a lot,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “He saved some guys out there that needed a break.”
Williams Perez (4-2) surrendered 10 hits, two walks and six runs in six-plus innings for the Braves, who have lost 11 of 14.
Bumgarner gave up a leadoff single to Nick Markakis in the first and retired 10 straight before Chris Johnson singled in the fourth.
Tomlinson’s opposite-field single made it 2-0 in the second, and San Francisco was up 3-0 in the fourth when Ehire Adrianza doubled and scored on Tomlinson’s single up the middle.
Duffy and Pence drove in their runs in the Giants’ three-run seventh.
Bumgarner gave up Ryan Lavarnway’s RBI double in the seventh and left in the eighth after Eury Perez’s infield single.
Bumgarner’s performance reversed a personal season-long trend on the road. He had gone 6-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 starts away from home, a considerable contrast from the 11-4 record and 2.22 ERA he had in 18 road starts last year.
Maybe facing the Braves at Turner Field had something to do with it.
He won his fifth straight decision against Atlanta and had plenty of support of a couple dozen many family members and friends in attendance from his hometown of Hickory, N.C.
“There may be something to it, but he’s pitched well about everywhere, you know?” Bochy said. “He’s good. He’s one of the best.”
The Giants’ offense has had plenty of success on the road, scoring nearly five runs a game to rank second in the majors.
Buster Posey went 3 for 5 and is hitting .421 with 34 RBIs in his last 31 games.
Duffy went 2 for 5 and is batting .383 in his last 21 games.
Tomlinson, who joined the Giants on Monday after getting his contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento, has hits in 3 of his first 5 at-bats.
Bochy said second baseman Joe Panik’s lower back showed no major problems other than inflammation following an MRI and a CT scan. Panik will be evaluated again in two weeks.
Giants starter Chris Heston (11-5) will face the Chicago Cubs for the first time when San Francisco begins a four-game series at Wrigley Field on Thursday.