The Rockies will look to avoid a series sweep on Wednesday when they wrap up a three-game set with the streaking Giants.
Colorado (67-65) swept a three-game series against Washington over the weekend and entered this set 3 1/2 games behind San Diego for the NL wild card lead. However, the Rockies have dropped the first two games against the Giants (61-72)—winners of six straight—to drop 5 1/2 behind the Padres.
Colorado also trails NL West-leading Arizona by 6 1/2 games. Despite their streak, the Giants are still mired in last place in the division.
“The rest of our games are important games,” said Colorado’s Matt Holliday, who went 0-for-4 to end a career-best hitting streak at 17 games. “We have to start going out and playing better, playing loose - go out and have fun and score some runs.”
The Rockies swept the Giants in three games in San Francisco in the last series between the teams from May 25-27. Now, Colorado is on the verge of being swept on the road by the Giants for the first time since April 8-10, 2005.
Randy Winn drove in two runs for the Giants, extending his hitting streak to nine games. He also is batting .522 (12-for-23) during San Francisco’s winning streak.
In Wednesday’s finale, the Giants will square off against Jeff Francis (13-6, 4.32 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 6.89 ERA over his last three starts after winning his previous eight decisions. He gave up four runs - two earned - in 6 1-3 innings Friday, but didn’t get a decision in Colorado’s 6-5 win over Washington.
Francis is 4-5 with a 5.55 ERA in 12 career starts against the Giants, including 1-2 with a 5.75 ERA in three outings this season. He has had a rough time at AT&T Park, going 1-4 with an 8.05 ERA in six starts there.
Giants left fielder Barry Bonds, who went 0-for-4 Tuesday, is 5-for-15 with two homers all-time against Francis. However, the 43-year-old seven-time NL MVP often does not play in day games following night contests.
San Francisco’s Noah Lowry (14-7, 3.59) will try to extend his dominant run of pitching in August. He’s 12-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 20 career starts this month.
He also won his fifth straight decision despite allowing a season-high six runs and a career-worst 12 hits in five innings of the 11-6 victory against Milwaukee on Friday.
Lowry also helped himself out at the plate, hitting a homer driving in a career-high three.
“I told (manager Bruce Bochy) as soon as I came out of the game, he could have very easily taken me out of that game early and he stuck with me,” Lowry said. “That’s something I definitely appreciate.”
Lowry also improved to 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 12 home starts this season.
However, he has struggled against the Rockies, going 2-5 with a 7.02 ERA in 11 career starts. He is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in three outings against Colorado this season, with the win coming in San Francisco on April 30.