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Young lefty lowers spring ERA to 1.84

  • San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning in an exhibition spring training baseball game Monday, March 11, 2013, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Following up Matt Cain's five shutout innings a day earlier, Madison Bumgarner was nearly as good Saturday, pitching five strong innings of his own as the Giants lost 7-6 to the Cincinnati Reds in a split-squad game for both clubs.

Bumgarner, who is projected to follow Cain in the season-opening series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, allowed just two hits, a walk and a run and struck out two in his fifth spring start.

The left-hander, 23, has been sharp from the outset of Cactus League play. Bumgarner lowered his ERA to 1.84 and has not allowed a home run in 14 2/3 innings.

"I felt like it was pretty similar (to his last start), but everything felt more in rhythm," Bumgarner said. "Last time I felt like my timing was a little bit out of whack, but I felt good today."

Said manager Bruce Bochy: "It was a good outing for him. This is about the time when these guys start picking it up. He and Matt have back-to-back days where they've been hitting their spots, their secondary pitches have been good. Madison's getting close."


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