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ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14: Centerfielder Gregor Blanco #7 of the San Francisco Giants connects on a first-inning, lead-off home run during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- Madison Bumgarner grew up about four hours from Turner Field, so a start near his North Carolina home brought an onslaught of family and friends to the stands. Bumgarner left about 40 tickets for Friday's game with the Atlanta Braves, and for much of the night, it appeared that he would give his cheering section and everyone else at Turner Field a night they would never forget.

The 23-year-old left-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of a 6-0 win over the Braves before settling for another dominant seven-inning start against the team for which he grew up rooting. In two starts against the Braves this season, Bumgarner has given up one run in 14 innings while striking out 21.

He allowed just two hits Friday night and opened the night with 42/3 perfect innings.

"This was right up there as far as his best starts, no question," manager Bruce Bochy said. "They're a good hitting ballclub, and he's been right on in the starts he's had against them."

Bumgarner struck out five of nine the first time through the order and needed just 45 pitches to get through three perfect innings. Asked later about the point at which he started thinking about a no-hitter, Bumgarner deadpanned, "After the first out."

He got 14 of them before the Braves put a runner on base. B.J. Upton drew a walk with two outs in the fifth, but Bumgarner promptly froze Dan Uggla to record his eighth strikeout. The final pitch to Uggla was the 81st of the night for Bumgarner, setting up a potentially awkward situation for a manager who has long thought his prized left-hander has the stuff and command to throw a no-hitter.

But Bochy never had to make a tough call in the late innings. Chris Johnson led off the sixth with a pop-up to right that dropped between outfielders Gregor Blanco and Hunter Pence and second baseman Tony Abreu.

"I think we should have dived for it," Blanco said. "We should have done something more, but it was in a tough spot. We're going full speed, and it was a tough one. There could have been a collision."

Bumgarner hardly seemed bothered by the flare that broke up his no-hit bid. He struck out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and then got Andrelton Simmons to hit into a double play.

"Sometimes you see disappointment there and a loss of focus," Bochy said. "But he got his concentration right back."

Bumgarner threw 108 pitches, 69 for strikes. He struck out 10 to reach double-digits for the 11th time in his career and third time this season.

"With all his pitches, he was throwing pretty much where he wanted to the whole night," catcher Buster Posey said.

Posey was in the middle of another strong offensive night, setting a career-high with three doubles and scoring twice. Posey has settled into the No. 3 spot in the order, picking up multiple hits in five of his last six games. Blanco, who has grown comfortable in the leadoff spot with Angel Pagan on the disabled list, opened Friday's game with the first leadoff homer of his career. The blast was his first since an extra-innings homer at Turner Field in July.

For the second straight night, the Giants followed the same model. The lineup has 16 runs in two victories, and Bumgarner and Matt Cain have led the way in back-to-back shutouts. That's been a welcome sign for a team that has struggled to win on the road this season in large part because of inconsistent starting pitching.

"We've got to start locking it in for the second half here if we want to make a playoff push," Bumgarner said. "Everyone knows that it's time to turn it around."

  • Fresh off a knee procedure, reliever Santiago Casilla started the trip last week on two crutches. He cut it down to one during a series in Arizona, and when the Giants took the field in Atlanta, Casilla was walking on his own and without a limp. Casilla threw off flat ground Friday and said his right knee feels great. Bochy said Casilla is ahead of schedule in his rehab. Originally thought to be out until after the All-Star break, Casilla might return in two to three weeks.

    The timetable for second baseman Marco Scutaro is murkier. Scutaro (mallet finger, left pinkie) swung a bat Friday but won't play in this series. Bochy said Scutaro will be fitted for a custom splint when the team returns to San Francisco on Monday, then a decision will be made on his status. Pagan also remains doubtful to see action this weekend, but Bochy said the center fielder's strained hamstring is feeling better.

    Saturday's game

    Giants (Chad Gaudin 2-1) at Atlanta (Mike Minor 8-2), 1:05 p.m. CSNBA