Giants-Diamondbacks Preview

Though the San Francisco Giants have a comfortable lead atop the

NL West, Ryan Vogelsong might be one of his team’s few

concerns.

Vogelsong hopes to bounce back from another rough start Sunday

when he tries to help the Giants to a fifth straight victory and

first road sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in two years.

Buster Posey hit a two-run homer and Barry Zito threw 6 2-3

strong innings for San Francisco (83-62) in Saturday’s 3-2 win.

Looking to match a season high with their fifth consecutive

victory, the Giants also are trying for a fifth straight win at

Chase Field, where they have not swept the Diamondbacks (71-74)

since July 22-25, 2010.

San Francisco owns a 7 1/2-game lead over Los Angeles in the

West.

“What’s been nice is guys are continuing to go out with that

fire and play hard,” Posey said. “Nobody’s taking anything for

granted.”

Vogelsong (12-8, 3.40 ERA), however, needs to get back on

track.

The right-hander is 2-3 with a 9.37 ERA in his last six starts

and allowed four runs in five innings of a 6-5 loss at Colorado on

Monday. That came after he was roughed up for six in 3 1-3 innings

of an 8-6, 11-inning home loss to Arizona on Sept. 4.

“I’m costing us games right now and I’m not real happy about

it,” said Vogelsong, who allowed seven runs over 12 1-3 innings of

the two games he’s won during that stretch. “I’m just not making

pitches, missing locations.”

Despite his recent struggles, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has not

lost faith in the 2011 All-Star.

“He’s one of our guys and he’s going to be out there,” Bochy

said. “We have all the confidence in the world in him. He’s done an

unbelievable job for us this year. Vogie is going to be just

fine.”

Despite his most recent home outing against the Diamondbacks,

Vogelsong is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts at Chase Field.

Posey has batted .483 (14 for 29) with three homers and seven

RBIs in his last seven games.

Giants leadoff hitter Angel Pagan, who had two hits Saturday, is

8 for 17 (.471) during his team’s four-game winning streak at

Arizona.

Posey and Pagan, however, are a combined 2 for 12 against

scheduled Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (5-7, 4.19).

The rookie left-hander is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in four starts

since winning at Houston on Aug. 18. He gave up three runs in 5 1-3

innings of an 8-2 loss at San Diego last Sunday.

One start prior to that outing, Corbin allowed four runs and

struck out six in five innings of a 9-8, 10-inning loss at San

Francisco on Sept. 3. He is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts

against the Giants.

Catcher Miguel Montero had two hits Saturday for Arizona, which

has scored four or fewer runs in 12 straight home games to match a

franchise record.

“We had a couple of chances with runners in scoring position and

we scored only four runs in two nights,” said manager Kirk Gibson,

whose team has stranded 21 runners in the first two games of the

set.

Montero has hit .396 (21 for 53) in his last 14 games, and .435

(10 for 23) in his last six against the Giants.