The teams meet for the first of six games over the season’s final two weeks Monday night at Chase Field.
The Giants (80-69) enter this three-game series trailing Colorado by 4 1/2 games for the wild card, and nearly eliminated from the NL West race. They haven’t helped themselves by losing seven of their last 11, including Sunday’s 6-2 defeat at Los Angeles.
They do, however, have an easier remaining schedule than the Rockies.
San Francisco will play three games at fourth-place San Diego and four at home against Chicago. The Giants face the Diamondbacks (65-85) again in a three-game home series Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Colorado, meanwhile, must play series against division leaders Los Angeles and St. Louis in its final 12 games.
“There’s always hope,” manager Bruce Bochy told San Francisco’s official Web site. “You have to stay optimistic. There’s no other way to be.”
The Giants will try to cut into the Rockies’ lead by adding to their 8-4 mark against Arizona and 4-2 record at Chase Field this season.
They’ll start by trying to give Barry Zito(notes) (10-12, 3.94 ERA) some rare run support again. The left-hander reached double-digit victories for the ninth consecutive season in Tuesday night’s 10-2 victory over Colorado, yielding two runs over seven innings while striking out nine.
The Giants have given Zito the second-lowest support average in the majors (3.33), but he has posted the third-best ERA in the majors over the last two months (2.36) to bolster his victory total.
Zito snapped a five-game skid against the Diamondbacks by winning his only matchup this season. In a 6-4 road victory June 10, he gave up four runs, seven hits and four walks over five innings, but got credit for the win.
His opponent in Monday’s game, fellow veteran left-hander Doug Davis(notes) (7-13, 4.01), has the third-lowest run support average in the majors (3.67). Davis, though, hasn’t helped himself either over the last month, going 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA in his last six outings.
Davis was in line to break his losing streak Wednesday in San Diego after giving up three runs over six innings, but the Diamondbacks’ bullpen blew a two-run lead en route to a 6-5 loss in 10 innings.
Davis, who will try to avoid tying Pittsburgh’s Zach Duke(notes) and Cincinnati’s Aaron Harang(notes) for the NL lead in losses, is 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA in his last three starts against the Giants, and 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in the last four matchups in Arizona.
Two years removed from winning an NL-best 90 games, the Diamondbacks appear headed for their first 90-loss season since finishing 51-111 in 2004.
They’ve especially struggled in September, going 5-13 while batting .236 and compiling a 5.29 staff ERA.