The Giants look to build on their first win in nine games Sunday when they wrap up a three-game set with the Yankees.
Rookie Nate Schierholtz singled in the game-winning run in the 13th inning of Saturday’s 6-5 victory as the Giants (31-42) won for the first time since June 12.
“We saved some sanity around here with the streak we’ve been in,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who was ejected for the second time in three games in the sixth inning. “They just gritted this thing out and found a way to get a win. We needed it bad.”
The Giants were outscored 52-25 during their losing streak, which included three-game sweeps in Boston and Milwaukee. On Saturday, however, they came back from an early three-run deficit and overcame Alex Rodriguez’s game-tying homer in the ninth inning.
“It’s been tough,” said Schierholtz, who has 10 hits in 25 at-bats since being called up from the minors. “I got here just a couple of weeks ago. We won our first couple of games and then went on a slide. It’s definitely a big win. Hopefully things will start to turn around.”
Slugger Barry Bonds went 2-for-3 with two RBIs but failed to homer a day after hitting the 749th drive of his career. Bonds is six homers shy of Hank Aaron’s all time record.
The Yankees (36-36), meanwhile, have dropped four of their last five games, but manager Joe Torre wasn’t complaining.
“It felt like we scored eight or nine runs but they weren’t on the board,” he said. “We had 17 hits. I have no complaints other than the final score.”
Rodriguez had four hits for the second straight game and is 21-for-32 (.656) with three homers in eight career games in San Francisco.
Shortstop Derek Jeter left the game after the seventh inning with a slight strain in his hip, but extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Torre said that Jeter, who has also hit in 25 straight interleague games, would be questionable for the series finale.
The Yankees will be handing the ball to Mike Mussina (3-4, 5.10 ERA), who leads major league pitchers with 20 career interleague wins. However, he admitted that pitching in a National League park contributed to his 3-1 loss in Colorado on Tuesday.
Mussina, who gave up three runs in six innings, allowed a solo homer to Yorvit Torrealba in the sixth with the pitcher on deck.
“National League inexperience,” said Mussina, who lost for the first time in five starts. “I didn’t think about who was on deck, I wasn’t paying any attention to it. I would have pitched a little differently if I had thought about it. After 17 years, you’re going to learn a few things about this game and that’s one of them.”
Mussina, who started his career with Baltimore, is 7-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 19 career road interleague starts. His only previous start against the Giants came at Yankee Stadium on June 7, 2002, when he allowed one run in six innings of a 2-1 win.
Bonds is 2-for-3 with no homers against Mussina.
San Francisco will counter with Noah Lowry (6-6, 3.74), who is 1-2 with a 5.97 ERA over his last five starts. The left-hander lasted only 5 2-3 innings on Monday, allowing five runs in a 5-4 loss in Milwaukee.
Lowry is 4-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 career interleague outings, including 11 starts, but has never faced the Yankees.