LOS ANGELES — Everything went right for Madison Bumgarner. He pitched well, the Giants provided him more than enough offense and they played strong defense behind him. The bullpen pitched in, too.
Bumgarner struck out 10 while working into the seventh inning and San Francisco beat Los Angeles 7-2 Saturday as Yasiel Puig returned to the starting lineup for the Dodgers.
The Giants got home runs from Michael Morse, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey.
“We’ve always had a good defensive team, and we’re starting to swing the bats now,” Bumgarner said. “So we’re a pretty well-rounded team. Today the bullpen came in and did a great job, and the offense was unbelievable again. It’s nice to have that kind of support. It makes it easier to go after guys and challenge them.”
Puig returned to the Dodgers’ starting lineup, playing right field and batting leadoff a day after he was benched by manager Don Mattingly for arriving late for stretching and batting practice before Friday’s home opener. Puig went 1 for 4 and was picked off first in the third inning for the final out with cleanup-hitter Adrian Gonzalez at the plate.
Bumgarner (1-0) was charged with two runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings in his second outing.
“I was throwing a little bit of everything,” the left-hander said. “It seemed like they had a lot of baserunners today, but I felt like I made good pitches all day. The command was there and my stuff was pretty good.”
Bumgarner has a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.65, which is better than that of All-Star teammates Tim Lincecum (2.77) and Matt Cain (2.48). Last season, he came within one strikeout of becoming only the second Giants lefty since Ray Sadecki in 1968 to finish a season with 200 or more.
“You don’t want to give guys free passes at any time. You have to make them earn it of you can,” Bumgarner said. “But at the same time, you don’t want to just give in and just throw a meatball up there. You’ve got to make pitches and work on command and get ahead of guys.”
Bumgarner is 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA in his last five starts at Chavez Ravine.
“He was commanding both sides of the plate and locating,” Gonzalez said. “He’s just like anybody else. If he can command down and away, down and in, up and away and up and in, and crisscross the strike zone, it makes it tough.”
Puig came up in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out after Giants skipper Bruce Bochy replaced Bumgarner with Santiago Casilla. Puig’s flyball to right field was too shallow to score Scott Van Slyke, but pinch-hitter Andre Ethier followed with an RBI single.
A.J. Ellis tried to score behind Van Slyke and was thrown out by Hunter Pence for the third out. Mattingly came out to discuss the call with umpire Joe West and used his one challenge for a video replay ruling, which upheld the original call.
“I had to make a pretty good throw and Buster had to make a great tag,” Pence said.
Paul Maholm (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits through 4 1-3 innings in his first start for the Dodgers.
“Maholm’s got a lot of different pitches that he throws it in a lot of different ways, and he located really well. So it’s always tough,” Pence said. “You just battle, make him get the ball over the plate and be aggressive.”
Morse, playing for his fourth team in a span of three seasons, gave San Francisco a 2-1 lead when he drove Maholm’s first pitch of the fourth deep into the pavilion seats in left-center for his first homer with the Giants.
Sandoval, the Giants’ slimmed-down third baseman and 2012 World Series MVP, parked Maholm’s 80th and final pitch over the left field fence in the fifth for with two on for his first home run of 2014. Posey then greeted rookie Jose Dominguez with a drive into the lower seats in the left field corner.
CHICAGO — Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs are picking up where they left off last season.
The right-hander struck out eight in seven innings, and held the Phillies to two runs and six hits. The Cubs put 10 hits on the board but went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and lost 2-0 to Philadelphia.
The Cubs, who were shut out for the second time in five games this season, are already 4 for 40 with runners in scoring position this season. That’s even grimmer than last year’s season-long .218 mark.
The Cubs were able to get runners on base against Phillies’ starter Cliff Lee, but failed to deliver the knockout blow.
Lee (2-0) allowed 10 hits and had just one 1-2-3 inning. But it never felt as if he was in trouble. He worked on the edges of both sides of the plate and kept the Cubs hitters off balance. Four of his six strikeouts were called third strikes.
“I had to battle a little bit,” Lee said. “They got their fair share of hits, but I was able to make pitches when I needed to. Seven innings, no runs, I’ll take that every time.”
One person Samardzija (0-1) couldn’t figure out was Chase Utley. Utley went 3-for-3 and homered for the second day in a row.
PITTSBURGH — Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the season, Jhonny Peralta added a late two-run shot and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1.
Molina finished 2 for 4 and his solo homer in the sixth gave the Cardinals plenty of cushion as they bounced back from a 12-2 loss on Friday night by jumping on Pittsburgh ace Francisco Liriano (0-1) early.
St. Louis used a three-run first inning to put the Pirates in an early hole then held on as Joe Kelly (1-0) wiggled his way out of trouble. The right-hander worked 5 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four in his first start of the season.
Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong went 0 for 4.
WASHINGTON — Julio Teheran allowed two runs in seven solid innings and had two hits, and Atlanta knocked out Stephen Strasburg in the fifth inning, as the Braves beat the Washington Nationals 6-2.
Dan Ugly had a two-run single for the Braves and Freddie Freeman reached base five times with two hits and three walks.
Teheran (1-1) limited Washington to three hits in seven innings, one of them a two-run home run by Adam LaRoche. The Braves right-hander was aided by a spectacular throw by B.J. Upton, who caught a liner to medium center by Bryce Harper and threw Jose Libation out at the plate for an inning-ending double play in the fifth.
Strasburg (0-1) allowed eight hits, three walks and three earned runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Teheran walked four and hit a batter, but he compensated with six timely strikeouts and two solid singles to right field, the first of which drove in the tying run with two out in the bottom of the fourth inning and contributed to the early exit for Strasburg (0-1)
It was the second shaky outing of the year for the Nationals right-hander. Strasburg allowed a pair of home runs in a no-decision in Washington’s 9-7 opening day victory over the Mets.
Against the Braves, Strasburg had a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but third baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s two-out, two-run throwing error paved the way for two unearned runs.
In the next inning, Strasburg was sent to the dugout after allowing a walk and four straight singles. The hits were supplied by Chris Johnson, Justin Upton, Uggla, and Ryan Doumit. Andrelton Simmons brought home the final run with a sacrifice fly off reliever Aaron Barrett.
WHITE SOX 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While Salvador Perez came up with the winning hit right after Nori Aoki made the game-saving catch.
Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead RBI double with two outs in the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3.
Alex Gordon doubled off left-hander Scott Downs (0-1) before Perez hit Maikel Cleto’s second pitch down the left-field line.
Wade Davis (1-1) let the White Sox tie it at three when gave up two runs in the eighth on two singles, a walk, a hit batter and sacrifice fly.
Greg Holland worked around a leadoff walk for his second save in two days.
Royals right fielder Aoki prevented the White Sox from taking a lead when he made a lunging catch of Alexei Ramirez line drive to end the eighth with two runners on base.
“Nori made a tremendous catch that saved the game from being cracked open there,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Aoki, a six-time Gold Glove winner in center field in Japan, got a good jump on Ramirez’s scorcher.
“It was a situation where we couldn’t give up any more runs,” Aoki said through an interpreter. “That was the play I was most happy with. The only thing was the sun was in my eyes.”
Ramirez already had two singles and believed he had one over extra bases over Aoki’s head.
“I don’t think it got up in the wind enough to have a chance,” Paul Konerko said “That’s what the game comes down to sometimes, something so small.”
Conor Gillaspie hit an RBI single in the eighth before Konerko’s sacrifice fly tied it and gave him 146 RBIs against Kansas City, the most by any opponent.