Wrigley rain can’t stop Giants from series win

WRIGLEY FIELD — Weather tried to play a role Thursday, but ultimately it couldn’t stop the Giants from winning the series against the Cubs.

The continuation of Tuesday’s suspended game was delayed, with rain poetically pushing the start back by nearly four hours. But an RBI single by Joe Panik in the sixth wasn’t enough to prevent a 2-1 Cubs win, preventing a sweep by visiting San Francisco.

Thursday’s scheduled game ended up a showdown between southpaws Madison Bumgarner (W, 14-9, 3.14 ERA) and Travis Wood (L, 7-11, 4.86 ERA), with the Giants overcoming a three-run Cubs first to finish with a 5-3 win.

In the first inning, Travis Wood — predictably — would pitch himself into some trouble. Angel Pagan led off the inning by lacing a line drive back up the middle before Buster Posey drew a four-pitch walk as just the beginning of his huge night.

Pablo Sandoval ripped a single into left field that scored Pagan. From there Wood would retire Adam Duvall and Joe Panik on fly balls, but not before plunking Michael Morse.

Madison Bumgarner didn’t escape the first without damage either. Arismendy Alcantara swatted a bloop single into right field, then Javier Baez struck out on just four pitches.

After Anthony Rizzo flied out to left field,  Justin Ruggiano drove an 0-1 pitch into the right field bleachers for a 2-1 Cubs lead. Welington Castillo made it back-to-back jacks — the sixth time the Cubs have hit consecutive home runs this season — to extend Chicago’s lead to 3-1.

Posey and Sandoval made noise in the third by smacking back-to-back doubles to bring the game to 3-2.

Bumgarner helped himself at the plate — not uncommon this season — by knocking in Joaquin Arias on a single to left field to tie the game at 3-3 in the fourth.

Posey clubbed a solo shot in the fifth, his 14th of the year, to give the Giants a 4-3 lead.

Travis Wood gave way to Justin Grimm after six innings, allowing eight hits and four earned runs while walking one, striking out six, and giving up a home run.

Pence and Posey would lead off the seventh with back-to-back singles, following the back-to-back theme on the night. Morse would drive home an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right center field.

Once-prized Cubs prospect Matt Szczur would get his first career hit off of Bumgarner during the bottom of the seventh. But that and a Valbuena single would be all the Cubs could muster on the offensive side.

Bumgarner would rack up two more punch-outs, bringing his final total on the night to 12. The final line for Bumgarner was 7 IP, seven hits, three earned runs, one walk, 12 strikeouts, and two home runs against.

Santiago Casilla was brought in during the ninth to close it out, notching his 11th save.

The Cubs managed to beat themselves many times during the game, leaving the door wide open for the Giants to have their way.

Posey and Sandoval combined to go 7-for-8 with two singles, four doubles, a home run, one strikeout, and one walk. Outside of giving up two home runs, Madison Bumgarner was lights out on the way to his 14th victory.

This win puts the Giants (67-59) 3-1/2 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After a travel day, the Giants head to the nation’s capital to face the Washington Nationals Friday. Tim Hudson (8-9, 3.03 ERA) is set to face off against Doug Fister (12-3, 2.20 ERA) at 4:05 PDT. It will be broadcast on CSN-BA & MLBN.