The left-hander will again try for his first National League victory when the Giants face the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a two-game series on Monday night at Coors Field.
Zito (0-1, 8.18 ERA) was scheduled to start Saturday at Pittsburgh, but a driving rain postponed that game and a doubleheader slated for Sunday.
With rain possibly mixing with snow late Monday in Denver, Zito will try to shake off two poor outings and lead the Giants (3-7) to consecutive wins for the first time in 2007.
After signing a $126 million, seven-year contract with San Francisco, Zito has allowed 10 earned runs and 13 hits in 11 innings. He gave up eight runs and nine hits in six innings in the Giants’ 10-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 8.
Despite the rough start, Zito doesn’t appear concerned though he’s 11-17 with a 5.20 ERA lifetime in April.
“I have to stay on my game plan, make a few adjustments and go from there,” said Zito, who allowed one earned run and eight hits in seven innings on June 21 in his only start at Coors Field. “I’ve seen this for years in Oakland getting off to a slow start. The key is not to panic, to stay together as a team and know we’ll keep plugging away and put a little run together.”
While opponents are hitting .295 against him, he has received little run support from own his team. The Giants are hitting .239 as a team and have scored just one run while he’s been on the mound.
San Francisco, though, pounded out 11 hits and scored a season high in an 8-5 win over Pittsburgh on Friday. Barry Bonds went 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs and needs 19 homers to break Hank Aaron’s record.
“We’ve been trying to get this offense going and that’s what we needed,” said manager Bruce Bochy, whose club scored 20 runs and was shutout three times — all by San Diego—in their first nine games.
Bonds raised his average to .276 (8-for-29) and has three homers and seven RBIs. He is a lifetime .341 hitter with 25 homers and 61 RBIs in 74 games at Coors Field.
The Giants were 3-6 in 2006 at Coors Field where they have lost four of five.
Colorado (5-7) lost 6-4 to Arizona on Sunday, falling for the sixth time on a nine-game road swing. Four of those losses were by one run.
The Rockies scored 21 runs in taking two of three from the Diamondbacks at home to open the season, but scored 29 on the road trip.
“We’re not clicking on all cylinders by any means,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said, “but there are some good things going on, and we’re just going to have to keep after it.”
The Rockies will be without second baseman Kazuo Matsui, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with back spasms. Matsui was hitting .361 (13-for-36) and was replaced by Jamey Carroll, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored Sunday.
Jeff Francis (1-0, 2.84) will take the mound for the Rockies on Thursday. The left-hander won his last outing, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings in a 6-3 victory over the Dodgers last Monday.
He is 3-3 with a 5.47 ERA in nine career starts against the Giants.