Ortiz looks to build on his first win since 2005, when his San Francisco Giants open a three-game series at home with the NL West rival Diamondbacks Friday at AT&T Park.
Ortiz (1-1, 5.27 ERA) pitched for Arizona in 2005 and part of 2006, but was released last June after going 0-5 with a 7.54 ERA in six starts. The veteran right-hander then went 0-3 while finishing the season with Baltimore.
The Diamondbacks decided to eat the remaining $22 million of his contract rather than keep him on their roster.
After working on his pitching and losing weight in the offseason, Ortiz signed with San Francisco, where he pitched for his first five major league seasons. He earned his first win since returning to the Giants last Friday, when he allowed five runs and 10 hits in 8 2-3 innings of an 8-5 victory at Pittsburgh.
Ortiz had gone 0-12 in 31 outings, including 16 starts, since his last win on Aug. 29, 2005, while allowing 79 runs in 86 2-3 innings over that span.
“I didn’t realize how long it is until people remind me of it,” said Ortiz, who is 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 16 career appearances versus the Diamondbacks, including 15 starts. “I was doing everything I could to go inning by inning. After five, I was thinking, `Well, at least now it’s an official game.’”
Arizona, which is still paying the bulk of Ortiz’s salary, might not be thrilled with his turnaround. The Diamondbacks wanted Ortiz to lose weight last season, but he claimed it would not help his pitching.
“Throwing harder, obviously looks like he’s in better shape,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “Whether or not that has something to do with it, I would say, ‘maybe.’ You can’t worry about other guys that were here and are no longer here. You’ve just got to go forward and wish everybody the best.”
The Giants (6-8) started the season 1-6 but have won five of seven since then, including Thursday’s 6-2 win over St. Louis. Rich Aurilia hit a two-run, tiebreaking double in the sixth inning, one day after singling in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th for a 6-5 victory.
Aurilia leads the team with a .352 batting average and has hit safely in 12 straight games. Barry Bonds, who hit his 738th career homer in Wednesday’s night game, sat out the day game.
The Diamondbacks (10-7) fell 11-6 to San Diego on Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours after beating the Padres 5-3 in 12 innings.
Doug Davis (1-1, 3.38) will look to help the Diamondbacks - losers of three of their last four games - bounce back in the series opener. The left-hander earned his first win of the season on Sunday against Colorado despite enduring his worst start of the season. He gave up four runs, nine hits and walked four batters over five innings, but received enough support from his offense in the 6-4 victory.
Davis is 2-2 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career appearances - six starts - against the Giants. Bonds is 3-for-7 with a homer, two doubles and four walks against him. Aurilia, though, has struggled against Davis, going 4-for-22 (.182) over their careers.
San Francisco took 11 of last season’s 19 meetings with Arizona, including a 6-3 mark at home.