The San Francisco Giants have a chance to build some serious momentum heading into a key weekend series against the NL wild-card leaders.
They look for a third straight victory and series sweep of the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
San Francisco (69-58) has managed to bounce back after losing three of four at wild-card leading Colorado last weekend. One night after holding on for a 5-4 victory in the series opener against Arizona, Bengie Molina(notes) hit a three-run, pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning to rally the Giants to a 4-3 win Wednesday.
“Bengie is our clean-up hitter,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his catcher, who’s batting .406 with three homers and 10 RBIs against Arizona this season. “If he’s not in the starting lineup he’s the guy I use when the game is on the line. It’s hard to get a bigger hit.”
Though the Diamondbacks (55-72) have lost nine of 10, sweeping them would still give the Giants a great deal of momentum and confidence heading into their weekend home rematch with the Rockies, who lead San Francisco by three games in the wild-card standings.
The Giants, who have only 12 total hits through the first two games of this series, hope to break out against Arizona’s scheduled starter Yusmeiro Petit(notes) (2-8, 6.06 ERA), looking to avoid losing his fourth straight start.
Petit pitched well enough to end his skid at Houston on Friday, giving up one run in six innings, but wound up on the short end of a 1-0 loss. He’s 0-3 with a 7.07 ERA since winning at Pittsburgh on Aug. 4.
Martinez allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings Saturday, when he didn’t receive a decision in a 14-11 loss at Colorado.
“Obviously, I wasn’t performing up to the standard that I should,” Martinez told the Giants’ official Web site.
The right-hander, who is 2-1 in four starts since joining the rotation Aug. 5, makes his first appearance against Arizona.
“This one is pretty crushing because we had every opportunity,” said Arizona manager A.J. Hinch, whose team is batting .210 and averaging 2.8 runs in its last 10 contests. “Early in the game we could have added a few runs and we didn’t. They stayed close enough and it came back to bite us.”
Roberts is 9 for 16 with a home run and four RBIs in his last four games.