Phillies starter Cliff Lee surely would relinquish his regular-season mastery over the Giants if he could change the 2010 World Series, when the Giants beat him in Game 1 at AT&T Park and again in the Game 5 clincher at Texas.
Because time travel is not part of his otherwise potent repertoire, the 34-year-old lefty has to be satisfied with the less fulfilling achievement of suffocating San Francisco every time he faces the Giants without a trophy on the line.
It continued with Monday night's 6-2 victory, which ended the Giants' winning streak at six games and resulted in Madison Bumgarner's first loss of 2013.
Lee improved to 5-0 in six regular-season starts against the Giants, in which he has allowed a total of five earned runs. In the one start he did not win, he pitched 10 shutout innings and got no decision.
All the drama from the weekend series against the Dodgers gave way to the cool efficiency of Lee's five-hit pitching over eight innings. Hunter Pence had three of the hits, a homer, single and double, and has six in 11 career at-bats against his former teammate.
"He's good. He's one of the best," manager Bruce Bochy said of Lee. "He works fast and he pounds the strike zone. You know you're going to have your work cut out for you when you face a guy like that. You hope your guy is on his game, you play a clean game and you score some runs."
Bumgarner allowed five earned runs for the first time since the Cardinals got him for six in Game 1 of the 2012 NLCS.