SAN FRANCISCO — Whenever Zack Greinke takes the mound at AT&T Park, he defaults to his dominant form. That trend continued Saturday, when Greinke spun eight innings of two-hit ball to lower his career ERA in San Francisco to 1.37. Paul Goldschmidt delivered all the offense Greinke needed with a two-run homer in the first to power Arizona to a 2-0 triumph.
Goldschmidt’s 35th homer, which had an exit velocity of 111.3 mph and traveled 438 feet, was the hardest blast Giants starter Madison Bumgarner has given up since Statcast™ debuted in 2015. The win — combined with Milwaukee’s loss to Miami — lowered the D-backs’ magic number for a postseason berth to six and helped them remain five games ahead of the Rockies for the top spot in the National League Wild Card race. Arizona is now 25 games over .500 for the first time since capping the 2011 season with a 94-68 record.
Bumgarner (3-9) has now lost four consecutive games for the first time in his Major League career. He’s surrendered 14 home runs in 12 starts since returning from the disabled list and tossed seven innings of two-run ball Saturday. Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford delivered the lone hits for San Francisco, which must go 6-6 in its remaining 12 games to avoid 100 losses.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Slamming the door:Mac Williamson reached on an error by Kristopher Negron to open the sixth, opening the door for arguably San Francisco’s best shot at a run. Bumgarner struck out in the next at-bat, Denard Span moved Williamson to second and red-hot Panik walked to set up Jarrett Parker with the chance to break up Greinke’s shutout. But Greinke prevailed, striking out Parker on a curveball to escape the jam.
Back-to-back K’s: The D-backs were looking to add a few insurance runs in the seventh off Bumgarner, but ran up against the left-hander’s strikeout ability. Brandon Drury doubled leading off the inning and Negron walked two batters later. But Greinke and David Peralta both struck out, cutting the rally short to give the Giants a shot at erasing the two-run deficit.
D-backs: Arizona will send right-hander Taijuan Walker (9-7, 3.32 ERA) for Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. MST series finale. In his last five starts, Walker is 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA, having allowed four runs in 28 2/3 innings.
Giants:Chris Stratton will get another shot at a start after facing just one batter amid a lengthy lightning and rain delay when the Dodgers were in town. Like Walker, Stratton has done well recently, posting a 2-1 record and 1.96 ERA over his last five starts.
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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.