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Morse, Bumgarner help Giants sweep Twins

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm •  Published: May 25, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Michael Morse looked baffled after missing wildly on a wicked curve from Minnesota starter Ricky Nolasco in the fifth inning.

It was one of the few pitches the Giants' slugger guessed wrong on, and the last one from Nolasco he let get by.

Morse hit a bases-loaded double on Nolasco's next offering — one of three doubles by San Francisco's first baseman — helping the Giants to an 8-1 win over the Twins on Sunday that completed a three-game sweep.

The crowd at AT&T Park gave Morse a loud ovation after the hit when his face was shown on the giant scoreboard in centerfield.

"Moments like that make you feel so humble and happy that you're here," said Morse, who signed a one-year deal with San Francisco in the offseason. "Every day feels like the playoffs here. It's awesome."

Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings to remain unbeaten in May, Gregor Blanco had three hits while filling in for leadoff man Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence homered for the Giants, who improved to 6-0 in interleague games this year and improved their majors-leading record to 32-18.

Bumgarner (6-3) earned his fourth straight win while relying mainly on his fastball and slider to baffle the slumping Twins. He struck out 10 with no walks and allowed only two runners past second base.

"Madison was Madison," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had his normal stuff and pitched great."

It was a far different result than Bumgarner got in his only other appearance against Minnesota in 2011 when the left-hander was knocked out of the game after retiring one batter.

This time around, the left-hander was dominant. Bumgarner fanned Joe Mauer three times, recorded six consecutive strikeouts during one stretch and struck out the side in the fifth after getting called for a balk. It's just the fifth time in Mauer's career that he's struck out three times against the same pitcher.

George Kontos pitched the final two innings for San Francisco, which has won seven straight games against American League teams dating to 2013.

"I for sure didn't forget about that," said Bumgarner, who reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time in his career. "There wasn't a whole lot of talk about it but it's something that's tough to forget, to go through a start like that one."

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