If Kevin Correia keeps pitching the way he has, the 23-year-old rookie might not have to worry about shuttling back-and-forth to the minors anymore.
The right-hander makes his fifth start of the season as the NL West-leading San Francisco play the deciding game of their three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Pacific Bell Park.
Correia, who has been back-and-forth from Triple-A Fresno to the majors this season, has allowed two runs or fewer in seven games, including four starts, for the Giants.
He beat San Diego 8-3 on Tuesday, limiting the Padres to one run and four hits over five innings.
“He’s going to help the club go into the playoffs and come out of this experience as a bigger man,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “He’ll definitely have a lot more confidence.”
The Giants’ four-run eighth inning rally fell short Saturday as they lost 5-4 to the Brewers. Barry Bonds began the comeback with his 41st homer of the year. He is just six home runs shy of tying his godfather, Willie Mays (660), for third place on the all-time list.
“I thought we had that one,” Alou said. “We had them right where we wanted them. This time we fell short.”
The Giants, who are 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the best record in the NL, lost for just the fourth time in 13 games.
The Brewers won for just the second time in nine games as Richie Sexson homered twice and finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs. The All-Star first baseman is batting .405 (15-for-37) over his last 10 games with four homers and 12 RBIs.
Sexson has 40 homers, five shy of matching the team record he shares with Gorman Thomas, who established the mark in 1979. Sexson also hit 45 in 2001.
STANDINGS: Brewers - 5th place, 16 GB, NL Central. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wayne Franklin (10-12, 5.39 ERA). After winning his previous two starts while posting a 2.23 ERA, Franklin has lost two straight, giving up 10 runs over 9 1-3 innings (9.89 ERA). In an 8-4 home defeat to Houston on Monday, the left-hander allowed six runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 innings. He also walked four, increasing his season total to 87, sixth-most in the NL. Franklin is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three career games, including one start, against San Francisco. That lone start was on April 6, when he gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings of a 5-0 home loss.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Correia (2-1, 2.00 ERA). In three home games, including two starts, Correia is 1-0 with a 1.39 ERA. He has struck out 12 over 13 innings in those three home outings.
SEASON SERIES: Giants, 4-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Brewers - The Brewers ended a seven-game losing streak against San Francisco with Saturday’s win. … 1B Sexson is batting .444 (8-for-18) with four homers and seven RBIs against the Giants this year. … RHP Dan Kolb has 18 saves in 19 chances this season, including conversions in each of his last 18 opportunities. Giants - On Saturday, the Giants hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this year. Bonds and Marquis Grissom last did it on July 7 vs. St. Louis. … 2B Neifi Perez hit a two-run homer Saturday, his first homer in more than a year. … LF Bonds hadn’t homered since Aug. 30 at Arizona.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Brewers - 34-38 on the road; Giants - 50-22 at home.
INJURIES: Brewers - OF Geoff Jenkins (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Ford (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 60-day DL. Giants - RHP Jesse Foppert (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 60-day DL.