The San Francisco Giants have been flashing home run power over the last five weeks. Seeing one baserunner cross the plate with each long drive, though, is just fine with manager Bruce Bochy.
Looking to close out the first leg of their 10-game road trip with a series win, the Giants meet the Florida Marlins on Sunday for the final time in 2011.
San Francisco evened this set with a 3-0 win Saturday night. Tim Lincecum(notes) gave up two hits and fanned 10 over seven innings for his 11th victory, and Jeff Keppinger(notes) had two hits, including a first-inning solo homer.
Keppinger’s blast extended San Francisco’s record for consecutive solo homers to 21. No Giant has gone deep with runners on base since Nate Schierholtz’s(notes) two-run shot in a 6-5, 14-inning win over San Diego on July 6.
“We’re going to set a record that can never be broken,” Bochy said with a smile. “We’re on the relentless pursuit of solo home runs right now. But you know what? I’ll take them.”
San Francisco (65-55) is 16-16 after beating the Padres, but has won just four of 15 since last taking back-to-back games July 27 and 28, when they held a four-game lead in the NL West over Arizona. The Giants now trail the Diamondbacks by two games.
The right-hander was 1-1 with an 8.50 ERA in four starts last month before being optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on July 23. In three minor league appearances, he went 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA. Last season, Volstad was demoted to the minors in July but returned to go 8-1 in his final 13 starts.
Volstad is 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA in three career starts versus the Giants. He failed to get a decision in a 7-6, 12-inning win on May 25 in San Francisco.
Vogelsong had been 3-0 in five starts before surrendering a run and eight hits in eight innings of a 1-0 home loss to the Marlins on May 26. The right-hander was 6-0 in 12 games before giving up five runs and a season-high nine hits in five innings of Monday’s 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh at AT&T Park.
“He was off but still, you have to put runs on the board,” Bochy said.
In eight road starts, Vogelsong has been supported by an average of 6.31 runs per game while going 3-0 with a 3.65 ERA.
Following Saturday’s loss, the Marlins optioned outspoken left fielder Logan Morrison(notes) to Triple-A New Orleans. After the resignation of manager Edwin Rodriguez in June, Morrison was reprimanded by the team for comments he posted on Twitter.
Morrison, who went 0 for 3 and is hitting .249, was second on the team with 17 homers and third with 60 RBIs.
“Heartbroken, man, disappointed,” Morrison said of his demotion. “I play through injury and this is how you get treated. It doesn’t seem very fair to me.”
Florida (56-63), which is at the bottom of the NL East, will try to avoid losing for the ninth time in 10 games. The Marlins have taken four of five from the Giants.