(Sports Network) - While he hasn't been exactly lights out, Barry Zito has
been good enough on the mound as of late that the San Francisco Giants have
won each of his last seven starts.
Zito hopes to serve as a good luck charm again on Saturday night in the middle
portion of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The left-handed Zito has gone 3-0 with a 4.54 earned run average over his last
seven starts since his last loss on Aug. 2. While the Giants have often needed
to score runs when the veteran takes the hill, Zito took care of business on
his end last time out on Sunday.
Taking on the Dodgers, Zito contributed 6 1/3 innings to a 4-0 triumph,
scattering four hits and three walks while improving to 11-8 with a 4.33 ERA
in 28 starts this year with the victory.
The 34-year-old wasn't as fortunate the previous start against the
Diamondbacks on Sept. 3, when he allowed four runs over five innings to take a
Zito is 5-8 in his career versus Arizona with a 5.26 ERA and will be opposed
tonight by D'backs rookie Wade Miley, who is coming off a win over the San
Diego Padres last Saturday even though he yielded five runs on eight hits and
three walks over 5 1/3 innings of an 8-5 triumph.
"The offense did a great job setting the tempo early in the game and they
picked me up throughout the night," Miley said.
The 25-year-old lefty, a NL Rookie of the Year candidate, is 15-9 with a 3.07
ERA in 28 games, including 25 starts. One of his early-season relief stints
came against the Giants on April 8 and Miley picked up a win with four
scoreless frames. This will be his first time facing San Francisco since.
The Giants trimmed their magic number to winning the NL West to 11 with
Friday's series-opening 6-2 victory. Hunter Pence capped a five-run third
inning with his third career grand slam, while Buster Posey drove in a run and
"(Pence) had a great at bat. He did battle back, got a pitch he could handle
there and he smoked it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's huge, we got
one run in and to get a grand slam, that gives you a little cushion, which we
Matt Cain allowed one run on four hits over five-plus innings to pick up the
win despite walking a season-high five batters. San Francisco won its third in
a row and for the eighth time in 12 games, maintaining a 7 1/2-game edge over
the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division.
Chris Johnson went 2-for-3 and drove in both runs for the Diamondbacks, who
had won five of seven overall entering the game.
Tyler Skaggs was pegged with the loss after giving up five runs on five hits
over four innings.
"(Skaggs) made a mistake to Pence. That is the big one," D'backs manager Kirk
Gibson said. "All the other stuff, that happens. He throws a high fastball
right where you don't want to throw it. That was their big blow."
Though the Giants are 33-21 against the NL West this season, that includes
just a 6-7 mark versus the Diamondbacks.
The Sports Network