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USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale breaks down the impact the new baseball will have on the MLB. USA TODAY

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It was just one start in a meaningless spring-training game Thursday afternoon, against a lineup that featured only two major-league veterans, but for Arizona Diamondbacks ace Madison Bumgarner, it meant much, much more.

It was the first sign that maybe, just perhaps, Bumgarner’s career isn’t on the downslide after all.

Bumgarner, coming off a horrific season, with the Diamondbacks still on the hook for $79 million over the next four years, showed that last year might have been a fluke.

Bumgarner, the rodeo-loving cowboy in spikes, faced seven Los Angeles

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