SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants are providing hints that their starting pitching can remain as formidable as it has been for the past few seasons.
Madison Bumgarner lasted five innings in Saturday's 7-6 Cactus League loss to the Cincinnati Reds, matching the length of Matt Cain's performance Friday against Texas. Bumgarner allowed one run and two hits to the Reds, nearly duplicating the two hits Cain yielded while blanking Texas.
"[Bumgarner] and Matt have gone back-to-back days where they've been hitting spots and their secondary pitches have looked good," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his top two starters. "Madison's not quite there, but what a great outing for him."
Bumgarner, who whittled his Cactus League ERA to 1.84, agreed with the "not quite" part of Bochy's remark.
"Right now, I feel like I'll be ready at about the time I need to be," Bumgarner said. "Everything felt in rhythm more."
The lone run Bumgarner allowed was recorded by Billy Hamilton, who showcased his breathtaking speed with a leadoff first-inning triple. Hamilton's accelerated trip around the bases prompted Bumgarner to say, "I was thinking of backing up home" in anticipation of an attempt at an inside-the-park home run.
Typically one of the Giants' most proficient pitchers with a bat, Bumgarner doubled with two outs in the fifth inning off Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek.
"I got lucky and slapped one down the line," Bumgarner said modestly.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.