(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants look to break out the brooms when they shoot for a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park.
The Giants took Friday's opener, 6-2, then handed the Twins a 2-1 setback in the middle test behind solid pitching and some clutch hits. Ryan Vogelsong threw 6 2/3 shutout innings, struck out seven and walked one, while Juan Gutierrez, Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo followed in relief.
Romo worked around a Josmil Pinto leadoff home run in the ninth to nail down his 16th save, which is second in the majors behind Milwaukee's Francisco Rodriguez (17).
Pablo Sandoval homered in the second inning and plated Angel Pagan with two out on a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the NL West-leading Giants, who have won three straight and four of their last five games. Sandoval is riding a four-game hitting streak with three homers and seven RBI in that time. He has four home runs in the past six.
"He's gotten his timing and he's got his confidence going and that usually comes with success," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said of Sandoval.
Hunter Pence went 0-for-2 with two walks to snap his 10-game hit streak.
The Giants improved to 23-4 when scoring first this season and have the best record in the NL at 31-18. The Giants, winners in 14 of the last 19 home games, are 16-8 at AT&T Park, where they have a 6-1-1 ledger in home series.
San Francisco will host the Chicago Cubs for three games on this stay.
Madison Bumgarner is unbeaten (3-0) in his last four starts since losing three straight and takes the mound Sunday for the hosts. Bumgarner did not record a decision in Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Colorado and yielded three runs and eight hits in six innings of work.
Bumgarner has been reached for seven runs in back-to-back trips to the mound and is 5-3 with a 3.38 earned run average in 10 starts this season. The lefty is 2-2 in four home outings and lost his only start against Minnesota on June 21, 2011 in a 9-2 setback. Bumgarner was hammered for eight runs and nine hits in only one-third of an inning.
Minnesota hopes to finish its five-game road trip (2-2) on a positive note and get some runs in Sunday's finale. The Twins have scored two runs or less in each of the past three games and couldn't provide starting pitcher Samuel Deduno any support.
Deduno was saddled with the loss for giving up both runs on Sandoval's behalf in 5 2/3 innings of work. He struck out four and walked three.
Pinto, of course, was responsible for Minnesota's scoring with a home run off Romo. Joe Mauer and Eduardo Escobar both doubled for the Twins, who have lost two straight and three of five games.
"We came in in the end against one of the better closer and put up a run against him and put up a fight and cut it back down to one run," Twins outfielder Jason Kubel said. "As long as we keep fighting every night, every day, we should have a lot more chances."
The Twins have left 17 men on base in back-to-back losses to the Giants and will return home to start a four-game series with the Texas Rangers on Monday.
Ricky Nolasco tries to stop his winless streak (0-2 last 4 starts) when he takes the mound Sunday for Minnesota. Nolasco took the loss in a 6-2 decision to Seattle last Sunday and was touched for three runs and six hits in five innings.
Nolasco has allowed three or more runs in each of his past six starts and eight of his nine trips to the mound. The right-hander and first-year Twin is 1-2 in five road starts this season and 5-5 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants.