The San Francisco Giants tied a major league record last season by having the shortest regular-season winning streak by a World Series champion at five.
Manager Bruce Bochy’s club has a chance to match that run less than three weeks into its 2011 schedule.
The Giants on Sunday seek their fifth straight victory overall, a weekend series sweep and their sixth consecutive win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
En route to their first World Series championship since moving to the Bay Area in 1958, the Giants won a season-high five straight July 10-17. That tied the 1996 New York Yankees and 2007 Boston Red Sox for the shortest regular-season winning streak by a World Series champion.
While the Giants (8-6) have a ways to go before even thinking about becoming the first team to repeat since the Yankees (1998-2000), they can match last season’s longest winning streak following Saturday’s 5-3 victory at Arizona (5-8).
Buster Posey(notes) hit a two-run homer, Freddy Sanchez(notes) knocked in three runs and Guillermo Mota(notes) went a career-high 4 1-3 innings of relief to earn the win after Barry Zito(notes) left in the second with a sprained right foot.
“It’s tough for Barry. I don’t know what happened or the severity of it, but hats off to Guillermo Mota,” infielder Mark DeRosa(notes) said after the Giants improved to 7-2 since a 1-4 start. “Player of the game, no doubt.
“The depth of this team was something that was a positive for us last year and I think this year it’s the same.”
Madison Bumgarner(notes) (0-2, 9.00 ERA), who takes the ball Sunday, was one of the Giants’ standouts last postseason, going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four appearances. The 21-year-old left-hander has yet to approach that type of success in 2011.
He has allowed opponents to hit .406 against him while losing both of his starts this season. After lasting just three innings against San Diego on April 5, Bumgarner went five unimpressive innings in his home debut Monday, a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I felt good the whole time,” he told the Giants’ official website after walking four and surrendering five runs and eight hits. “It’s hard to explain games like that sometimes.”
Bumgarner is 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in three starts against Arizona. He struck out seven in each of those outings.
The right-hander posted an 8.06 ERA while losing his last five starts as a rookie last season, and has unfortunately picked up where he left off in 2011. Enright has been tagged for four runs over six innings in each of his first two outings. He hit a batter and allowed nine hits in Monday’s 8-2 home loss to St. Louis.
“I lose my aggressiveness sometimes,” said Enright, 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts against San Francisco last season. “You get a few guys on base and you start trying to place the ball instead of going after people.”
Enright should be careful going after Posey, who is 6 for 12 with two doubles and a homer in their meetings. The reigning NL rookie of the year is batting .400 (22 for 55) in 15 career games against Arizona.
Montero is hitless in four at-bats against Bumgarner.