(SportsNetwork.com) - San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner aims for an NL-leading ninth victory and fourth winning start in a row on Tuesday evening as the Giants play the second contest of a four-game set with the Washington Nationals.
Bumgarner has not lost since April 28, winning each of his last six decisions over a seven-start span. That has moved the left-hander to 8-3 on the year with a 2.68 earned run average, tying him for the league lead in victories, and he also sits third in the NL with 90 strikeouts.
Following his undefeated May, Bumgarner opened the new month with a victory over Cincinnati on Thursday. He logged eight innings of one-run ball, giving up three hits and striking out five without issuing a walk.
"I came out aggressive because it was pretty obvious they were coming out swinging," said Bumgarner. "We made some adjustments and it paid off for us."
The 24-year-old is 2-2 in six previous starts against the Nationals with a 2.61 ERA.
Washington sends its own streaking hurler to the mound in Doug Fister, who has won four straight starts while not giving up more than two runs in any of his outing since yielding five earned in his season debut on May 9.
Slowed by strained lat muscle that delayed the start of his Nationals career, Fister matched a season high with seven innings pitched to beat Philadelphia 4-2 on Thursday. He gave up both runs on four hits without a walk, striking out five.
"The main focus is staying down in the zone and moving it in and out," said Fister. "They got some nice swings on the ball, but the guys made some nice plays and we play as a team here."
The 30-year-old righty is 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA on the season and has never before faced the Giants in the regular season. However, he did face off against San Francisco and Bumgarner in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series while with Detroit and took a loss.
Fister will try to extend the Nats' advantage in this series after Washington won last night's opener 9-2 behind Ian Desmond's career-high five RBI night.
Jayson Werth drove in a pair of runs and Denard Span had three hits and scored twice for the Nationals, who have won six of their last seven games.
Span has a hit in 10 of his last 11 games, batting .365 with 12 runs scored in that time. He is hitting .351 since May 18.
"I feel good," said Span. "I've been having good at-bats, getting deep into counts and whenever I get a pitch, I'm not missing it."
Stephen Strasburg struck out seven and scattered four hits over six innings of one-run ball to earn his third consecutive victory for the Nats, while the Giants had a five-game winning streak snapped after Ryan Vogelsong yielded six runs over six-plus frames.
"I felt like I had a good game plan, and I just didn't make enough good pitches," Vogelsong said. "It was just a bad night.
The Giants and Nationals split six meetings a season ago.