SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner and AT&T Park haven't been on friendly terms for much of 2014, but Tuesday night they very nearly aligned perfectly in a 3-0 win.

The 25-year-old left-hander came within six outs of the second perfect game in franchise history, retiring 21 consecutive batters until Colorado's Justin Morneau ruined the Giants' latest no-hit drama with a leadoff double in the eighth inning.

It hardly ruined Bumgarner, though, who proceeded to strike out the next three batters and finished the one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts, matching his career-best. He didn't walk a batter and faced just one hitter over the minimum in pitching his second career one-hitter.

Bumgarner (15-9) wasn't upset that the perfect game got away. He thought he threw a good pitch to Morneau -- a curveball on the outside corner. For another, his priorities lean toward team goals.

"It's a cool thing to do, a good individual accomplishment," Bumgarner said. "But that's not important to me. When it comes right down to it, we're trying to win games."

On that count, Bumgarner has emerged as the Giants best pitcher, so he could have been forgiven for being a little selfish.

The Giants certainly made every effort to get the no-hitter for him, putting together their best possible defensive alignment over the final three innings. Both manager Bruce Bochy and catcher Buster Posey thought he was going to get it.


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"That game was probably more impressive than a lot of no-hitters, that's how well he threw," said Bochy. "You look at the strikeouts, the stuff he had, the command, it was quite a job."

How locked in was Bumgarner? He worked 15 0-and-2 counts, threw a first strike on 24 of the 28 Colorado players to come to the plate, and reached a three-ball count just once. He threw 103 pitches, 80 for strikes.

"When he's throwing the ball like that, it makes my job pretty easy," said Posey, who provided Bumgarner with the offensive support with a two-run home run in the sixth inning and a solo shot in the eighth, his 16th and 17th homers of the season.

Posey said the pitch sequence to Morneau in the eighth was three fastballs in a row and a curveball.

"It wasn't a bad pitch, really," Posey said. "It was just a good piece of hitting. It was on the outside corner, and if he hadn't hit, it probably would have skipped into me."

"I think it probably would have bounced if he hadn't hit it," Bumgarner agreed. "But he's a good hitter, and he was being aggressive. He happened to hit it pretty good. So I have no regrets in throwing it."

What impressed Bochy was how Bumgarner immediately regained his concentration after the no-hit breakup and attacked the next three hitters.

"That can really be a little disheartening, but it was a 2-0 game and he regrouped and made some great pitches after that," the manager said. "He didn't let that rattle him."

It was Bumgarner's third career shutout and his second this month. On Aug. 3, he tossed a two-hitter against the New York Mets at Citi Field. That one wasn't so surprising, considering Bumgarner is 10-3 with a 1.86 ERA on the road this year.

But at home, it had been a different story. Bumgarner came into the start just 4-6 with a 5.17 ERA at AT&T Park. He did throw seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball against Philadelphia in his last home start on Aug. 15, and this gem -- his fourth complete game of the season -- topped it.

Bumgarner is as mystified as anyone as to why it's been such a tough go at AT&T this season. He came into the season 23-16 for his career in the home yard with an ERA right around 3.00.

"This game's a funny game sometimes," he said. "For whatever reason, earlier this year I was having a hard time at home and I'm glad to have a couple good games here recently."

  • Before the game, Tim Lincecum admitted he was frustrated with his recent string of poor starts. The 30-year-old said he is hard at work trying to regain his proper mechanics and that "the last two days have been pretty proactive for me." One of the major issues is finding a proper alignment toward the plate.

    Follow Carl Steward on Twitter at twitter.com/stewardsfolly.

    WEDNESDAY'S GAME
    Colorado (Franklin Morales 5-7)
    at Giants (Tim Hudson 9-9),
    7:15 p.m. CSNBA