Kirk Rueter looks to snap a four-game losing streak and lead San Francisco to its fifth win in a row as the Giants conclude their two-game series with the struggling Colorado Rockies at Pacific Bell Park.
On Friday, Rueter gave up five earned runs and seven hits in four innings of a 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Rueter, who started the season 7-1, was on the disabled list from July 9-24 and again from Aug. 1-23 because of a strained left shoulder.
The veteran left-hander, who is 0-4 in his last nine starts, would not blame Friday’s outing—his second since returning from the DL—on his injury problems.
“My health is OK, but tonight I couldn’t get a release point where I could get movement on the ball,” he said. “I was at different angles and left some balls up.”
Rueter had the most wins of any Giants left-hander during the 1990s, going 45-27 in parts of four seasons. Entering this season, he ranked fourth in wins among major league left-handers since 1980, producing a 109-68 record. He won 14 games in both 2001 and 2002.
“What I haven’t seen since he came back is his sinker—his fastball is staying flat,” manager Felipe Alou said of Rueter. “The life, that little sink at the tail of the pitch is not there yet.”
Jason Jennings, who starts Wednesday for the Rockies, had lost four straight decisions, including a career-high three starts in a row, before getting the win in a 6-1 victory over the Giants on Thursday. .
“The whole locker room knew that I needed to make some adjustments,” said Jennings, who gave up one earned run and six hits while striking out a career-high 10 in seven innings.
“I’m out there in front of 50,000 people playing professional baseball and getting embarrassed. It’s not a good feeling for me. I want to do everything I can to get back right.”
On Tuesday, the Giants beat the Rockies 2-1 for their 11th victory in 14 games.
Slugger Barry Bonds, who returned to Pac Bell for the first time since his father’s death and his hospitalization for fatigue, doubled in his first at-bat and ended the night 1-for-2 with two walks.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 4th place, 20 1/2 GB, NL West. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Jennings (11-12, 4.98 ERA). The right-hander is 5-4 with a 5.58 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Rueter (7-5, 4.73 ERA). Rueter is 10-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 24 career starts against the Rockies.
SEASON SERIES: Giants, 11-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - The Rockies, who have not had a winning record against division opponents since 1997, are 29-31 against the NL West this season. … OF Walker’s homer was his first in two weeks. … RHP Jennings is 3-11 with a 5.22 ERA in 17 starts on the road this season. Giants - The Giants have won 22 of their last 26 at Pac Bell. … OF Marquis Grissom went 0-for-4 Tuesday, snapping his five-game hitting streak. … The Giants recalled RHP Kevin Correia, OF Tony Torcato, INF Lance Niekro and INF Cody Ransom from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 20-51 on the road; Giants - 47-19 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - C Bobby Estalella (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nelson Cruz (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Chin-hui Tsao (wrist), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL. Giants - RHP Jesse Foppert (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Dustin Hermanson (back), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL.