Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bumgarner aims to bounce back vs. D-backs, Bradley

The D-backs and Giants begin a four-game series Thursday night at AT&T Park with one team throwing its ace and the other hoping its starter will develop into one.
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, hero of last year's postseason run, will start for the second time this season against the D-backs. On Opening Day he picked up the win while allowing just one run over seven innings.
Archie Bradley, meanwhile, makes the second start of his big league career. The right-hander made his debut last Saturday against the Dodgers and outdueled Clayton Kershaw, allowing one hit over six scoreless innings.
What to watch for:
• Bradley came into the year ranked as the D-backs No. 1 prospect by MLB.com. He was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
• The Giants were 13-6 against the D-backs in 2014, including a 6-3 record at AT&T Park.
• Bumgarner is coming off a rare poor outing. He gave up five runs on 10 hits in three innings on Saturday at San Diego, his shortest outing since 2011. He's 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA, 21 strikeouts and five walks in his past four starts against the D-backs.
• Giants outfielder Nori Aoki hit safely in each of his first nine games with the Giants entering Wednesday. He's batting .405.

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