The San Francisco Giants are facing what is likely the perfect opponent as they try to complete just their second three-game home sweep of the season.
The Giants look to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games Sunday as they attempt to hand the San Diego Padres a seventh straight loss.
San Francisco (57-72) entered this series with the second-worst home record in the NL, but has used strong starting pitching to take the first two games of this series. Tim Lincecum pitched eight innings in a 5-0 win on Friday and Barry Zito went the same distance Saturday to earn a 4-3 victory.
The Giants’ only previous home sweep was against league-worst Washington from July 22-24. The Padres (48-81) are the second-worst club in the NL, and fell to 4-9 against San Francisco with Saturday’s loss.
Rich Aurilia tripled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning Saturday to help the Giants match their longest win streak of the season.
“That’s a notch in my triple belt for the year,” said Aurilia, who has 22 career triples, including at least one in each of the past 11 years.
Rookie catcher Pablo Sandoval, who scored on Aurilia’s hit, went 1-for-4 and has hit safely in seven straight games, going 12-for-25 (.480) in that span.
San Diego has matched its second-longest losing streak of the season at six games, trailing only an eight-game skid from June 21-29.
Following Lincecum and Zito in the rotation for the Giants is San Diego native Kevin Correia (2-7, 5.15 ERA), who will make his second start of the season against his hometown team. The right-hander gave up two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-1 loss at Petco Park on Aug. 3.
That began a difficult stretch in which Correia is 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in his last four outings while getting a total of only six runs of support. He got none Tuesday against Florida and allowed five runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 6-0 loss.
His counterpart, Josh Banks (3-6, 4.81), has failed to last past the fifth inning in losing his last two starts for San Diego. Banks was tagged for seven runs over four innings - the shortest start of his career - in a 7-6 loss at Arizona on Tuesday.
The right-hander, who has issued 13 walks over his last 8 1-3 innings, has been outstanding this season against the Giants. He is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA against them in two outings, including a six-hitter for his lone career complete game in a 5-1 road win on May 31.