Looking to build off their first road win in nearly a month, the Reds continue their weekend series against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
After snapping a season-high eight-game losing streak with a 4-0 home win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, Cincinnati (47-61) ended an eight-game road skid by rallying for a 10-5 win over San Francisco on Friday.
“These guys, they don’t quit. They just keep playing and playing,” manager Dusty Baker said after the Reds overcame a two-run deficit by scoring seven times in the final two innings. “They get down but don’t stay down.”
The Giants (60-49), meanwhile, fell back into a tie with Colorado for the wild card lead, committing five errors while losing for the third time in 11 games.
“We haven’t had a night like this in a while, in quite a while,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Brandon Phillips(notes) had two hits and drew a bases-loaded walk in a five-run ninth inning for the Reds, who have not won more than two in a row - and are 21-41 overall - since a season-high four-game winning streak May 24-27. The Reds haven’t won two straight on the road since June 27-28 at Cleveland.
“We’re starting to believe in ourselves,” Phillips said. “We’re picking each other up. It’s all about team chemistry.”
Phillips, batting .344 in his last eight games, is 3 for 6 in his career against Zito (7-10, 4.47 ERA), who hopes his first start this year against Cincinnati goes much better than the two he had in 2008.
The left-hander failed to get through four innings in either one, going 0-2 with a 21.32 ERA. He is 2-2 with a 10.03 ERA in five career starts versus the Reds.
Zito, though, is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three outings overall. He earned a victory Sunday after allowing three runs without walking a batter in six innings of a 7-3 win over Philadelphia.
“Early in the season he had trouble getting the ball where he wanted, but he settled down and pitched some really nice games,” Bochy said of Zito, who receives a major league-low 3.09 runs of support per game. “He is a different pitcher now and his stuff has definitely picked up.”
The right-hander gave up three runs in seven innings of a 6-4, 11-inning loss to Colorado on Sunday in his first outing since admitting he took amphetamines earlier in his career.
Arroyo, 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA in three starts since winning two in row, is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in seven against the Giants.
Eugenio Velez(notes) and Bengie Molina(notes) each homered Friday for the Giants. Though he’s played in 33 games this year, Velez is batting .417 with two homers and 10 RBIs since being recalled from the minors July 27.