On Sunday, the left-hander looks to improve on his disappointing interleague record with San Francisco while trying to help the Giants complete a three-game home sweep of the first-place Rangers.
During his seven-year stint with the Athletics, Zito (3-7, 4.72 ERA) was 17-5 with a 3.76 ERA in 30 starts versus Texas. This will be the first time he’ll face the Rangers while pitching for San Francisco (36-31), which has won 10 of its last 11 against Texas.
While Zito is 9-16 with a 4.71 ERA in 30 interleague starts overall, he’s 1-8 with an 8.44 ERA versus AL opponents since signing with the Giants prior to the 2007 season.
In two interleague starts this season, Zito is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA after giving up seven runs and 10 hits in a season-low 3 2-3 innings of a 9-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
“You want to say ‘I did this or that and these are the things I would change’ - something a little more tangible,” Zito told the Giants’ official Web site of his last start. “But this one, you just kind of flush it down the toilet and keep going.”
While the Giants need Zito to improve on his latest interleague results, the AL-West leading Rangers (37-30) hope ace Kevin Millwood(notes) (7-4, 2.62) can earn a fourth straight victory and help them avoid a fourth straight loss.
“I think I’m back to the point where I’m pitching the way I’m capable,” Millwood told the Rangers’ official Web site. “It has been a lot of fun.”
Millwood allowed one run and four hits while striking out six in seven innings of a 6-1 victory over Houston on Tuesday. The right-hander, who won nine games for Texas in 2008, has allowed one earned run in 21 2-3 innings while winning his last three starts.
Millwood is 5-3 with a 4.25 ERA in nine starts versus the Giants and pitched a no-hitter versus them in 2003 while with Philadelphia.
“It took a break,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Both teams were missing that big hit.”
Rowand, 4 for 8 in the series, has hit safely in 22 of 31 career games against the Rangers, including 18 of his past 20.
Both Texas and San Francisco are 6-5 in interleague play.