The Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup is coming off one of its best performances of the season. San Francisco’s hitters haven’t shown up at all recently.
The Giants look to avoid a third straight shutout when they open a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Monday at AT&T Park.
San Francisco (28-34) was swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, getting blanked in back-to-back games for the first time since June 22-23, 1996, against Atlanta. The Giants mustered just five hits to drop Sunday’s finale 2-0 for their 12th loss in 16 games.
Barry Bonds went 0-for-3 with a walk and flied out just in front of the warning track in the ninth inning as San Francisco failed to score a run for the third time in five games.
“We got the right guy up there in the ninth and he just missed it,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team is 1-5 in interleague play this season. “We’ll get production throughout the lineup. We can’t just wait for Barry.”
The Giants have dropped six straight games at home, getting outscored 30-11, and haven’t lost seven in a row in San Francisco since an eight-game skid Sept. 7-15, 1993. They swept the Blue Jays (30-32) in three games at home June 15-17, 2004, in the last series between these teams.
San Francisco has won five of six all-time meetings against Toronto, including the last five. The Blue Jays are coming off an 11-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday when they matched a season-high with 16 hits.
Seven players drove in a run, including pitcher Roy Halladay, to help Toronto take two of three in the series. Third baseman Troy Glaus went 3-for-4 with two homers and a double, and is batting .455 (10-for-22) during a six-game hitting streak.
“We got a few big hits when we needed them,” Glaus said. “We’ve been lacking the big hit.”
Glaus is hitting just .178 (16-for-90) in the regular season versus the Giants, but he batted .385 with three homers and eighth RBIs against them to earn MVP honors of the 2002 World Series while with the Angels.
Glaus and the Blue Jays will be facing San Francisco starter Matt Morris (6-3, 2.51 ERA), who has pitched well against the AL. The right-hander is 15-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 25 career interleague games, including 22 starts.
He has been even better lately, going 8-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last nine outings versus the AL with two complete games, including a 4-1 victory over Oakland on May 20 when he gave up just two hits and struck out nine.
Morris pitched another complete game on Wednesday when he held Arizona to one run and seven hits, but didn’t get any support in a 1-0 defeat. He walked two and struck out six for his 22nd career complete game.
“It’s a shame Matty has to take a loss there,” Bochy said.
Morris has allowed just four earned runs in his last 30 innings, holding opponents to a .170 batting average. He won his only career start versus the Blue Jays, allowing four runs and nine hits in an 11-5 victory on June 3, 2003, while with St. Louis.
The Blue Jays will hand the ball to Josh Towers (2-3, 5.15), who is returning to the rotation after Tomo Ohka was designated for assignment last week. Towers went 1-3 with a 4.70 ERA in four starts to begin 2007 before making six relief appearances.
The right-hander, who has never faced San Francisco, threw the final two innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, allowing one unearned run and two hits to earn the 12-11 victory. He is 3-8 with a 5.15 ERA in 16 career interleague games, including 14 starts, and is 0-5 in his last seven appearances versus the NL.