D-backs, winners of five of their last six, welcome slumping Cain, Giants for three-game series.
By JACK MAGRUDERFS Arizona
The Diamondbacks are playing some of their best baseball and the
Giants are playing some of their worst as the teams meet for the second time in a week in a three-game series that begins Monday at Chase Field.
Sparked by extra-inning victories in the final two games of the previous series at AT&T Park, Arizona has won five of its last six games to pull into a tie for first place with Colorado in the NL West, although it is stupid to talk about that, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson believes. The Giants are on a five-game losing streak and have lost eight of their last 12 after being swept in San Diego for the first time since 2010 last weekend.
Pitching matchups: Monday -- RHP Ian Kennedy (1-2, 4.70 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Cain (0-2, 6.59). Tuesday -- RHP Trevor Cahill (1-3, 3.00) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-0, 1.87). Wednesday -- RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.48) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (2-1, 3.64)
Who’s hot for the D-backs: Gerardo Parra has thrived with everyday use. He has a career-best 13-game hitting streak, is tied for first in the NL with 32 hits and is tied for second in the NL with nine doubles. ... Left-hander Matt Reynolds is one of two major league relievers who has pitched at least 11 innings and not given up a run. ... First baseman Paul Goldschmidt leads the team with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
Who’s not not for the D-backs: After a strong start, Martin Prado has five hits in his last 39 at-bats and is hitting .209. He had his first off day Sunday. ... Right-hander Brandon McCarthy leads the NL in earned runs allowed (23) and hits allowed (45) this season, although his stuff has been better than that. ... Miguel Montero has three hits in his last 27 at-bats.
Who’s hot for the Giants: Buster Posey is on a nine-game hitting streak that includes nine RBIs, six extra-base hits and all three of his home runs. He hit his third homer of the year in San Diego on Sunday. ... Pablo Sandoval tied a career high with four hits against the Padres on Sunday and has five multi-hit games in his last seven to raise his batting average to .316. ... Madison Bumgarner has given up seven earned runs in his five starts, all quality starts.
Who’s not hot for the Giants: Matt Cain still has not regained his typical form. He gave up four runs, three earned, and a Goldschmidt homer in a no-decision in his last start Tuesday. ... Postseason hero Marco Scutaro has five hits in his last 37 at-bats and is hitting .215. His walk-off error enabled the Padres to win 8-7 in 12 innings Saturday.
Notes, quotes, odds and ends: The D-backs are are 6-0 in extra-inning games, including two at AT&T Park last week, and have won eight games in their last at-bat. They have played a major-league-high 18 games decided by two runs or less. ... Posey’s homer at Petco Park on Sunday was one of five that have benefited from the new park configuration this season. The Padres moved the fences in 11 feet this year. ... Bumgarner is one of two Giants pitchers in the last 90 years to open a season with five starts of two earned runs or less and at least five strikeouts. Tim Lincecum did it in 2010. ... Expect Paul Goldschmidt to start Wednesday, when Lincecum makes his first appearance against the D-backs this season. Goldschmidt is hitting .571 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 14 career at-bats against Lincecum. He has seven homers against the Giants, the most against any opponent.