LOS ANGELES -- Still just 23 years old, Madison Bumgarner already is a two-time World Series champion. If he keeps pitching as he did Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, Bumgarner could soon add a few individual accolades to the resume.
Coming off a strong spring, Bumgarner was masterful through eight innings of a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving up just two hits and striking out six.
"That kid, he's special," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You could tell he really was on top of his game."
Said catcher Buster Posey: "He was in control from start to finish."
After a second-inning double by Andre Ethier, Bumgarner retired 18 consecutive Dodgers. Five of the outs came on strikeouts, and Bumgarner took advantage of the cool, still night, repeatedly getting the Dodgers to fly out meekly.
A.J. Ellis broke the streak with a two-out double to right in the eighth, but Bumgarner came right back, freezing pinch hitter Nick Punto with a two-strike fastball on the outside corner.
"That's the best I've felt in a long time," Bumgarner said. "It feels good to get started on a good note."
Like fellow left-hander Clayton Kershaw a day before, Bumgarner was in the middle of the game's scoring outburst, too.
The Giants had taken an early lead when Joaquin Arias, making a rare start at first base, followed fourth-inning singles by Posey and Hunter Pence with one of his own. With Arias on third and Andres Torres on second in the seventh inning, Bumgarner hit a one-out chopper to short.
Justin Sellers, starting because All-Star Hanley Ramirez is on the disabled list, threw wide of home plate. Arias scored on the throw, and Torres made it 3-0 when he raced home after seeing that right-hander Ronald Belisario wasn't covering on the play.
"You put the ball in play and good things happen," Bochy said. "Those were some nice insurance runs."
The Giants had 10 hits in their first look at Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, including two apiece by Angel Pagan, Pence and Arias. Four double plays limited the damage, but on this night, Bumgarner needed just one run.
Bochy often gets a glare from Bumgarner when pulling him from games, but the decision was an easy one Tuesday after Bumgarner reached 101 pitches, 76 of which were strikes.
In his first appearance as the official closer, Sergio Romo mimicked his final appearance of the 2012 season, ending the game with a called third strike.
"I've been itching at the bit since my last start," Lincecum said Tuesday. "I'm going in with a level head and a lot of optimism right now."
Lincecum had a scattered spring, throwing one important session in a batting cage because of rain and then missing two starts with a deep blister. But on the eve of his 2013 debut, he said he is healthy and coming off a bullpen session "that went really well."
"The confidence is high," Lincecum said. "Which is good. I'm really excited. Let's see what happens."
Lincecum has dominated the Dodgers. Amid last year's 10-15 mark and 5.18 ERA, Lincecum was 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers. He struck out 27 hitters in 24 innings.
In all, Lincecum is 7-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 19 career starts against the Dodgers.
"You rise to the occasion here because you've got the rivalry," he said. "Playing for the giants, Dodger blue is obviously going to get you a little more riled up."
"I thought I'd get better today, but it got worse," Belt said. "I have no energy. I don't know what this is."
Belt said he wasn't sure if he would be able to start Wednesday's series finale.
"It's a shame, really," Bochy said. "He was coming off a great spring."
Giants (Tim Lincecum) at Dodgers (Josh Beckett), 7:10 p.m. CSNBA, ESPN2