Zito, whose record hardly reflects how effective he’s been, looks to win consecutive starts for the first time this season as he takes the mound for the Giants in the middle game of their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
San Francisco (30-27) is last in the National League in runs with 226, but had a season-high 17 hits in a 9-4 win over Arizona on Tuesday night in this series’ opener.
In their previous game, the Giants matched a season low with three hits in a 4-0 loss to Florida on Monday night. It was the third time San Francisco has been shut out and the 21st time it has been held to two runs or fewer.
Zito (2-6, 3.86 ERA) has been the victim of many poor Giants performances at the plate. He’s getting a major league-worst 2.26 runs to work with per nine innings.
The veteran left-hander has settled down after struggling in his first two years with San Francisco and is certainly deserving of a better record.
“The first thing people mention is your record,” he said. “It’s the last thing we can control.”
Zito snapped a four-start losing streak Friday night, giving up one run and four hits in five innings of San Francisco’s 2-1 win over Florida.
He’s 2-6 with a 4.37 ERA in 10 starts against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona (25-34) will counter with Doug Davis(notes) (3-6, 3.36), who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts. His only win during that stretch, though, came in his last outing.
The left-hander yielded three hits and walked four while striking out five in six innings during Arizona’s 8-0 victory over San Diego on Friday night.
Davis is 4-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 15 starts and one relief appearance versus the Giants, who will be trying to build some momentum after their confidence-boosting victory.
Pablo Sandoval(notes) led San Francisco with four hits and three RBIs, including a towering two-run homer. The first baseman, in his first full season in the majors, is 14 for 29 (.483) against Arizona this year with two homers, two doubles, a triple and six RBIs.
Mark Reynolds(notes) and Stephen Drew(notes) homered for the Diamondbacks. It was the 14th homer of the season for Reynolds, who is hitting .400 (8 for 20) in his last five home games and .455 (5 for 11) against Zito.
Arizona missed some opportunities Tuesday, going 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position and stranding eight overall. The Diamondbacks have lost two straight and five of seven.
Arizona looked very much like a last-place team by committing three errors and allowing a run to score on a wild pitch.
“Those (errors) are unacceptable,” Hinch said. “We’re going to address it.”
Replacing manager Bob Melvin with Hinch on May 8 hasn’t sparked Arizona. The Diamondbacks were 12-17 with Melvin and 13-17 since Hinch took over.