Texas (37-30) at San Francisco (36-31)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Francisco, CA
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Jun 21, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Barry Zito(notes) has enjoyed plenty of success pitching against the Texas Rangers during his career. It all came, however, when he was across the Bay in Oakland.

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.

“He’s definitely spoiling us. That’s classic Millwood right there,” Rangers third baseman Michael Young(notes) said. “I think Milly senses when we need to get some momentum back on our side.”

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.

On Saturday, Aaron Rowand(notes) homered for the second straight night and Nate Schierholtz(notes) scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 11th inning to give the Giants a 2-1 victory.

“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.

Ian Kinsler(notes) hit his 18th homer and had two of the three hits for Texas, which has scored eight runs during its three-game losing skid.

Kinsler, who’s tied with Nelson Cruz(notes) for the team lead in homers, is batting .381 (8 for 21) with three home runs and four RBIs in his last five games.

Both Texas and San Francisco are 6-5 in interleague play.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Millwood Sea vs. B. Zito Oak
13-10 Record 10-13
3.67 ERA 4.03
123 K 154
71 BB 81
1.34 WHIP 1.35


Sunday, Jun 21