Madison Bumgarner isn't getting much run support, but the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants usually win when he takes the ball.
That's not happening for the Philadelphia Phillies when Cliff Lee does.
Bumgarner and the Giants try to extend their season-best winning streak to seven in Monday's night's series opener at AT&T Park, where Lee has a 20-inning scoreless streak.
Bumgarner (3-0, 1.55 ERA) has not earned a decision in his last three starts despite giving up three total runs. The Giants (19-12) have plated seven in those contests - just three while he's been on the mound - and won twice, including a 2-1 victory at Arizona on Tuesday when Bumgarner yielded three hits in seven shutout innings.
The left-hander, whose 2.66 run support average is among the NL's lowest, is the first Giants pitcher since Kevin Correia (seven) in 2007 to allow two runs or fewer in his first six starts.
"He could have five wins," manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants' official website. "We're not getting a lot of runs for him, but he's doing what we need, and that's putting up zeros for us."
Lee (2-2, 3.46) hasn't been doing much of that - he's 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his past three outings - but the Phillies (14-18) haven't done him many favors, scoring six runs while losing his last four starts.
The left-hander yielded five runs and nine hits in six innings of Wednesday's 6-0 loss at Cleveland.
The Phillies offense struggled again over the weekend, scratching out five total hits and two runs in a pair of losses to NL-worst Miami.
"When the game starts, we're up and ready to play. Then we have trouble scoring runs and hitting the ball consistently," manager Charlie Manuel told the Phillies' official website after Sunday's 14-2 defeat.
Jimmy Rollins is in a 2-for-18 slump, Chase Utley has gone 1 for 16 this month and Carlos Ruiz is 2 for 20 since his 25-game suspension ended.
If the Phillies can't get much going against Bumgarner - 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA in four appearances against them with two coming in the 2010 NLCS - Lee might be able to keep them in the game. Excluding two 2010 World Series losses while with Texas, the former AL Cy Young Award winner is 4-0 with a 0.63 ERA in five starts versus the Giants. In his last start at AT&T Park, Lee pitched a career-high 10 innings in a 1-0, 11-inning loss April 18, 2012.
Lee's regular-season scoreless innings streak in San Francisco is tied with Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa for the third-longest by a visiting pitcher since 2000. Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw's streak of 24 2-3 innings from Aug. 1, 2010-July 20, 2011, is the longest during that stretch.
Lee can expect to get his first look at Hunter Pence since the two-time All-Star was traded from Philadelphia to San Francisco on July 31. Pence, who spent a year with the Phillies after being acquired from Houston in another deadline deal, just went 5 for 13 in a weekend sweep of the Dodgers, driving in all of the runs in Sunday's 4-3 win.
Pence is a .340 hitter off Phillies pitching and 3 for 8 with a homer versus Lee.
San Francisco's Andres Torres, who had a season high-tying three hits Sunday, could get another start in center field should Angel Pagan miss another game with a strained hamstring.
The Giants are seeking their longest win streak since an eight-game run in September 2011.
They won four of six from the Phillies in 2012, including two of three in San Francisco.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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