KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jason Vargas dazzled for the third straight start, the Royals finally scored off Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and Kansas City beat San Francisco 2-0 on Wednesday night to split their two-game series.
Vargas (3-0) scattered four hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks, his 12th straight start allowing two runs or fewer – the longest streak by a left-hander in franchise history.
The veteran is also unbeaten in his last eight home starts.
Joakim Soria pitched a perfect eighth inning in relief of Vargas, and Kelvin Herrera worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to earn his third save and finish a 5-3 homestand for the Royals.
Bumgarner (0-3) matched Vargas pitch for pitch until the fifth, when Paulo Orlando managed a one-out single. He stole second, took third on a groundout and went home when Mike Moustakas delivered a base hit, his first with runners in scoring position this season.
That ended Bumgarner’s streak of 18 scoreless innings against the Royals, dating to the 2014 World Series opener. That run of dominance included a brilliant start later in the Series and five innings of scoreless relief in Game 7, when Bumgarner earned the save that finished the championship.
Bumgarner allowed one run, seven hits and a walk while striking out four but was done in by another poor night by San Francisco’s offense. The lanky left-hander has only received five total runs of support in his first four starts, including one run or none in three of them.
Salvador Perez added an RBI single in the eighth, just the third run surrendered by Giants relievers in the past nine games.
Giants DH Buster Posey gave a fan a nice souvenir when he whiffed on a pitch in the seventh inning and his bat flew out of his hands. The bat wound up finding a hole in the netting behind the plate and struck a fan, and Posey motioned to him to keep it. Posey proceeded to strike out.
GIANTS LOOK AHEAD
Bench coach Ron Wotus said manager Bruce Bochy is still on track to rejoin the team Friday night in Chicago. Bochy missed the series after having a minor heart procedure. Wotus also said Posey would likely return to catching on Friday after coming off the concussion list and spending two games as the DH.
Giants OF Mac Williamson (quad) began a rehab assignment at Class A San Jose on Wednesday, while OF/1B Michael Morse (hamstring) was batting cleanup as the designated hitter.
San Francisco gets a day off Thursday before RHP Johnny Cueto takes the mound to begin a three-game series at Colorado. Cueto has won his first three starts this season.
Kansas City LHP Danny Duffy tries to improve to 3-0 in the opener of a four-game series at Texas on Thursday night. Duffy has 17 strikeouts through 20 innings.
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