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Bumgarner, Crawford ramp up drama vs. Rox

Ace records 1,500th career K; SS snaps scoreless tie with walk-off HR
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Quickly dispensing with the pleasantries, Madison Bumgarner never wavered as he set about the task at hand: Winning.

Bumgarner didn't earn the decision. He left Wednesday night's game at AT&T Park against the Rockies after contributing to a scoreless tie for seven innings. But he pitched decisively, setting the Giants on course for their fourth consecutive triumph: A 1-0 verdict over the Rockies that Brandon Crawford delivered with his parabolic home run off Harrison Musgrave with one out in the Giants' half of the ninth.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Quickly dispensing with the pleasantries, Madison Bumgarner never wavered as he set about the task at hand: Winning.

Bumgarner didn't earn the decision. He left Wednesday night's game at AT&T Park against the Rockies after contributing to a scoreless tie for seven innings. But he pitched decisively, setting the Giants on course for their fourth consecutive triumph: A 1-0 verdict over the Rockies that Brandon Crawford delivered with his parabolic home run off Harrison Musgrave with one out in the Giants' half of the ninth.

View Full Game Coverage

The game began with Bumgarner freezing DJ LeMahieu with a called third strike. It was Bumgarner's 1,500th career strikeout in his 239th appearance, a level that only three left-handers reached more quickly: Hall of Famer Randy Johnson (206 games), Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (218) and Boston's David Price (236).

Video: COL@SF: Bumgarner K's LeMahieu for 1,500th strikeout

"It's a special thing for sure, I don't want to downplay it too much," Bumgarner said. "Definitely blessed to have the opportunity to do that and to be able to do that. I'm thankful for that. This is such a historical franchise and it's been around a long time. It means a lot to be able to do that. At the same time, it doesn't really mean anything. What I'm doing, we got to keep doing that."

What was meaningful for the Giants was the sight of Bumgarner dominating a National League West foe. He didn't allow a hit until Carlos Gonzalez blooped a double to left field with two outs in the fifth inning.

Video: Bumgarner reaches career strikeout 1,500

Giants manager Bruce Bochy contemplated the possibilities of having the starting rotation, with Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, physically whole and off the disabled list throughout the second half.

Cautious Giants delay Samardzija's return

"You try to look at the silver lining on these injuries. It's going to limit their innings and hopefully we see it as we get into August and September, these guys are still fresh," Bochy said. "Throw Cueto in there, Samardzija. You make 31, 32 starts, it can take a toll on you. But Madison has always been able to handle it, I'll say that. The fact he's missed a lot of time should help him."

After Crawford deposited his homer on the right-field arcade, he and Bumgarner exchanged praise.

"He's definitely stepped it up a level, for sure," Bumgarner said. "His defense has always been there and been a step above almost everybody else. And now it's nice to see his offense is in the same category now."

Said Crawford, "It would have been nice to get him the win. He pitched well enough that he should have gotten one. … He looked like vintage Bum. He had everything working. His slider has been a lot sharper the last couple of outings. His curveball's been looking a lot better. And he's locating his stuff."

Video: COL@SF: Bumgarner fans 8 over 7 scoreless frames 

SOUND SMART
The Giants walked off for the sixth time this season. Their most recent one was Saturday, when Hunter Pence victimized San Diego with an 11th-inning double. It was Crawford's third career game-winning homer. It also marked his second career walk-off home run against Colorado.The other was April 13, 2014, off Rex Brothers. The last time the Giants hit a walk-off home run to snap a 0-0 tie was Steve Decker on April 21, 1991, against Houston, according to Stats, LLC.

Video: COL@SF: Crawford on clutch walk-off jack in 1-0 win

HE SAID IT
"It's not where we want to be, but I think when you consider everything that's happened, yeah, you take it. The thing you want to do is not get so far back it becomes such an uphill climb for you. It's really, I think, a credit to these guys, with all they've been through, they've found a way to hang in there. We have a lot of baseball left, but at the halfway point, I think you take it considering what we've had to deal with. We miss those guys. Longo, Cueto, Samardzija and the guys that have been hurt. Meanwhile, guys have stepped up and done just a terrific job." -- Bochy, on the state of club and the NL West standings

Video: COL@SF: Bochy on Bumgarner's outing, walk-off win 

UP NEXT
Chris Stratton, who'll start Thursday's series finale against Colorado at 12:45 p.m. PT, has gained consistency along with experience. His 3.23 ERA in his last seven starts is the National League's 13th lowest figure in that span. The venue is not particularly important to Stratton, who's 4-2 at home and 4-3 on the road. He'll be opposed by Colorado right-hander Jon Gray. 

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner