Almora homers, but Cubs edged by Giants

Almora homers, but Cubs edged by Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants continued to regain a semblance of respectability on Wednesday, as Jarrett Parker's seventh-inning tiebreaking single lifted them to a 3-1 victory -- and much more -- over the Cubs.

The Giants, who have owned one of the Major Leagues' worst records for most of the season, recorded their second winning homestand of the season (5-3) and won back-to-back home series for the first time since May. With the score tied, 1-1, Denard Span and Ryder Jones delivered seventh-inning singles off Brian Duensing before Parker, whose 10th-inning hit defeated Arizona on Sunday, drove his go-ahead single to left.

"We feel we're paying attention to controlling what we can control, and that's us playing good baseball and making the necessary adjustments to getting back to playing at the caliber we should play at," said Hunter Pence, who added an eighth-inning home run.

Pence's solo home run

Chicago leads the National League Central by 1 1/2 games over the Brewers and Cardinals.

Madison "Mad-Bum" Bumgarner, who will wear that nickname on his jersey during Players Weekend Aug. 25-27, earned the decision by working seven innings and allowing five hits, as well as Chicago's lone run on an Albert Almora Jr. home run. Sam Dyson notched his eighth save in place of injured closer Mark Melancon.

Panik's RBI single

"I'm just going to say it as simple as it is: We have to try to win the game we have that day. There's no other way around it," Bumgarner said. "There's no way to make it sound sexy or anything like that. That's it. It doesn't matter whether it's against the Dodgers, Astros, Cubs, whoever."

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks labored through 4 2/3 innings but allowed only one run, on Joe Panik's second-inning single.

"I kind of relied too much on my curveball-changeup," Hendricks said. "Got me in some deep counts. Pitch count got way up. Just a lot of things I didn't want to do -- some bad walks."

Hendricks strikes out Span

Cubs first baseman Willson Contreras left with a right hamstring injury in the eighth inning. The newly minted NL Player of the Week pulled up shy of first base grabbing his hamstring while running out his inning-ending groundout. After laying on the grass for several moments, he was helped off the field by team trainers. 

"It's tough," Cubs standout Anthony Rizzo said. "Obviously he's producing very good for us. He's one of our horses. He's turned into a horse and we just have to step up and pick him up."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Contreras is definitely a "DL candidate." Contreras will travel with the team to Arizona and undergo an MRI exam on Thursday.

Contreras exits game early

"That's no fun," Maddon said. "Having been an expert in pulling hamstrings, which it appeared to have been, it's no fun. It's hurts. Everything you do, it grabs. But who knows? Maybe it's not going to be as bad as we think. We'll find out tomorrow."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Slick Sandoval: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval turned in a deft defensive play when he went to his knees to snare Ben Zobrist's fifth-inning hot shot and throw to first base from that same position. Jones completed the out with a nice short-hop scoop.

"It was a tough play," Sandoval said, "but I've worked hard every day to make that play."

Sandoval's diving play

Happ's miscue: Cubs second baseman Ian Happ opened the door for the go-ahead Giants run in the seventh with a one-out misplay. Span came to the plate with the bases empty and got aboard when Happ just missed the ball while moving toward his left in shallow right field. The Cubs used the shift against Span, but he reached easily when Happ couldn't fire a throw to first. Span later came around to score on Jarrett's single, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead.

Parker's go-ahead RBI single

QUOTABLE
"Something like this -- for as bad as it seems on the surface -- could actually galvanize the group. They know that he's not here right now. They know how important he's been to us. And now other guys realize, 'Hey. Let's go. We have to pick up the slack that has been created.' I've seen it before." -- Maddon, on Contreras' injury

Maddon on Contreras' leg injury

WHAT'S NEXT
Cubs: After an off-day on Thursday, the Cubs open a three-game set in Arizona against the D-backs in a 8:40 p.m. CT contest on Friday. John Lackey, who's posted a 3.00 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break, gets the ball for the Cubs, who lost two of three against the D-backs earlier this month.

Giants: San Francisco will observe a scheduled day off before opening a three-game series at Washington on Friday at 4:05 p.m. PT. Rookie Chris Stratton will start for the Giants, who will attempt to reverse their luck against the Nationals after Washington swept them in a three-game series at AT&T Park from May 29-31.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Cubs on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.