(Sports Network) - Three is a special number in more than one way for the San Francisco Giants, who will shoot for a three-game sweep of the National League West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks today from AT&T Park.
San Francisco has won three straight and the magic number to clinch its first NL West title since the 2003 season is also three thanks to back-to-back wins over the Diamondbacks, including Wednesday's 3-1 triumph behind seven strong innings from staff ace Tim Lincecum. Lincecum struck out 11 batters and allowed one run on six hits and four walks through seven innings to improve to 16-10.
Javier Lopez threw a scoreless eighth inning and closer Brian Wilson shut the door in the ninth for his 47th save. Wilson is one save shy of equaling Rod Beck for the single-season franchise record. Beck had 48 saves in 1993.
Pat Burrell launched a three-run homer in the fourth inning to account for the scoring, as the Giants recorded their seventh win in nine tries. The Giants remained two games ahead of San Diego for the NL West lead and will host the Padres for three games over the weekend.
"Fortunately for us, we're in a position where we don't have to really rely on anybody else to lose or win for that matter," Burrell said. "We just have to take care of our business and come out here and win every night, and we'll get in."
Rookie Madison Bumgarner draws the start for San Francisco Thursday and is 6-6 with a 3.06 earned run average over 17 starts this season. He was 0-2 in five starts before beating the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last Thursday, tossing seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in a 13-0 drubbing.
Bumgarner, a left-hander, is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in three career games (2 starts) against the Diamondbacks. He pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory at Arizona back on Sept. 6 for a no-decision.
The D-Backs had won five of six games before losing consecutive matchups with the Giants, and fell 30 games below the .500 mark last night.
Stephen Drew led off the game with a solo home run and finished with two hits for Arizona, which also got two hits from Gerardo Parra. Ian Kennedy started for the Diamondbacks and suffered the loss for allowing five hits, including Burrell's home run in the fourth inning.
"Ian Kennedy pitched very well, but he made one mistake to Pat and it cost us the game. He ran out of pitches and he ran out of innings for this year," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Kennedy. "But it was a great year for Ian Kennedy."
Arizona will send rookie Barry Enright to the mound this afternoon and he's 6-6 with a 3.73 earned run average in 16 starts this season. He has lost four straight trips to the mound and pitched well enough for the win his last time out in a 3-1 setback to Los Angeles last Friday. Enright delivered eight innings of two-run ball and allowed five hits.
The righty lost to the Giants back on Sept. 7 and is 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three career starts against them.
San Francisco has dominated this season's series with Arizona to the tune of a 12-5 margin, including a 6-2 ledger by the Bay.