Friday -- Giants 6, D-backs 5; mistakes costly as D-backs lose fourth straight. Saturday -- Giants 8, D-backs 4; Giants batter Anderson early. Sunday -- Patrick Corbin (1-1, 5.40) vs. Madison Bumgarner (9-5, 3.33), 12:30 p.m.
The Giants and D-backs were actually tied in the NL West standings with one series to play before the All-Star break, but that changed abruptly. After a long arduous climb to 500 that required 13 attempts, the D-backs went out and lost three in a row to the Mets; the Giants felt a lot better heading into the break on the strength of a three-game sweep of the Phillies, outscoring them 27-9. But, the Giants have lost their last 7 road games -- they haven't lost 8 in a row away from home since May 2000.
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY SportsLance Iversen
Ender begins again
Ender Inciarte is scheduled to return from the disabled list after rehabbing his injured hamstring (June 15) for five games at Double-A Mobile, where he hit .300 with one home run. His return gives Chip Hale both the luxury and difficulty of rotating four outfielders in three positions. David Peralta hit well against both right-handers and lefties while serving as the every-day left fielder while Inciarte was on the shelf. The Giants are also healthier than they've been in a while with the recent returns of outfielder Hunter Pence and starting pitchers Jake Peavy and Matt Cain from the DL.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Not your typical Giants
This is not the typical Giants team that won three of the past five World Series. Those Giants relied on exceptional starting pitching and modest but timely hitting; these Giants are second to only Colorado in the NL in batting average (.271) and third to the D-backs and Rockies in runs scored. They've gotten surprising contributions from infielders Joe Panik (.308, 7 home runs), Brandon Crawford (.262, 12 home runs, 52 RBI) and Matt Duffy (.293, 8 home runs, 41 RBI), who has excelled since replacing Casey McGehee at third base. One constant: Catcher Buster Posey, who's hitting .442 in his last 14 games.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Coming back to Chase Field to take on a hot-hitting Giants team might not be the best cure-all for the pitching woes that resulted in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Mets prior to the All-Star break. Starters Chase Anderson, Patrick Corbin and Rubby De La Rosa served up a total of nine home runs to the light-hitting Mets in a ballpark that is not as homer-friendly as Chase. D-backs pitchers have yielded 100 home runs this season -- only the Phillies (104) have surrendered more.