PHOENIX — The Arizona heat is a fitting setting for the two teams meeting here this weekend.
The Diamondbacks return home Friday after an 8-2 road trip that included three wins by right-hander Zack Greinke and vaulted them 13 games over .500, tying a season high. NL West rival San Francisco has won seven of its last 11 and is coming in after a 7-3 homestand, its best since the 2012 World Series season.
The Diamondbacks took series victories over the Angels, Pittsburgh and Miami and gained two games on the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers to build a 3 1/2 game division lead. They are a sparkling 21-8 since May 28.
“I can’t think of a day where we played bad really,” multi-tasking Greinke told reporters Thursday, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins while contributing two singles, a stolen base, an RBI and a run.
Greinke became the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1969 to have a hit, an RBI and a stolen base in as many as two games in the same season.
“There’s a record every game. You’ve just got to look hard enough for it,” he continued.
The Giants had series victories against Miami, San Diego and Colorado in their homestand, losing the finale to Colorado 9-8 on Thursday.
Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin, who has had abundant success against the Giants this season, faces San Francisco left-hander Andrew Suarez in the opener of the three-game series Friday.
Paul Goldschmidt, who had three hits and an RBI Thursday, enters the series on a roll. He is batting .404 with seven doubles, nine homers and 22 RBIs in his last 22 games while raising his batting average to a season-high .267. He was as low as .198 on May 22. Goldschmidt has feasted on the Giants this season, going 16-for-33 with seven doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in nine games this year.
Each team has gotten healthier as the second half beckons. Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray rejoined the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation in Miami.
Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings in his last two starts. He has made five starts, four quality starts, after returning from the disabled list June 5 in a 3-2 loss to Arizona at AT&T Park. Right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija could return soon.
“You try to look at the silver lining on these injuries,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters this week.
“It’s going to limit their innings and hopefully we see it as we get into August and September, these guys are still fresh. Throw Cueto in there, Samardzija. You make 31, 32 starts, it can take a toll on you. Madison has always been able to handle it, I’ll say that. The fact he’s missed a lot of time should help him.”
Corbin, 6-3 with a 3.24 ERA, is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA in three starts against the Giants this season. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a two-out, check-swing single to Brandon Belt in a 1-0 victory on April 17, his first career shutout. Corbin gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-2 victory at the Giants on June 5.
He threw seven scoreless innings and a tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in his last outing, a no-decision at Pittsburgh on June 22 in a game the Diamondbacks won 2-1 in 12 innings. Corbin is 7-7 with a 3.07 ERA in 22 career appearances against the Giants, 20 starts. He is 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA at Chase Field this season.
Rookie Suarez, 2-4 with a 4.43 ERA, has made 12 starts this season, 11 since joining the rotation for good on May 1, just before Cueto went out. He made his major league debut in a spot start against Arizona on April 11, giving up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-3 home loss. Goldschmidt and John Ryan Murphy homered off him in that game.
Suarez is 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five June starts and gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, a no-decision in a 5-3 victory over San Diego on Saturday. He is 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA in six road starts this season. He has never pitched in Chase Field.