While the San Francisco Giants wait to see if an All-Star closer will be joining their staff for the stretch run, they’re looking for revenge against the worst team in the majors.
San Francisco (69-61), two games behind Arizona in the NL West, may have found a replacement for injured closer Brian Wilson(notes) after claiming Bell off waivers from San Diego on Wednesday. A three-time All-Star, Bell has a 2.55 ERA and has converted 35 of 39 save opportunities this season.
Bell’s 124 saves since 2009 are the most in the majors. Wilson, on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, is second with 121.
“I feel pretty honored. They’re the world champs, they want me to be part of their organization,” said Bell. “But nothing has happened right now.”
San Diego has 48 hours from when Bell was claimed to decide whether to work out a trade, allow him to be claimed or pull him back from waivers.
Starting pitching and hitting were bigger problems than the bullpen as the Giants lost two of three to the lowly Astros (42-88) last weekend in Houston. San Francisco’s starters posted a 7.04 ERA while the lineup was blanked in the series opener.
Carlos Beltran(notes) didn’t face his former team while on the disabled list with a wrist injury, but should play Thursday. In his second game after being activated, Beltran hit his first homer since being acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline in San Francisco’s 2-1 win Thursday over the Padres.
While with the New York Mets, Beltran was 6 for 20 with three doubles and a homer in five games against the Astros this year.
The Giants swept the Astros in a three-game set at AT&T Park last year, and have taken five of the last six matchups in San Francisco.
The All-Star right-hander was 9-1 with a 2.19 ERA after beating the Diamondbacks on Aug. 3. Since then, Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA.
Facing Houston on Friday, Vogelsong was tagged for five runs - two earned - and four hits with four walks in seven innings of the Giants’ 6-0 loss.
Vogelsong is 6-2 with a 1.82 ERA at AT&T Park, but he allowed more than two runs there for the first time in 11 starts this year in his last home outing Aug. 8, yielding five runs in five innings to Pittsburgh.
Houston’s Henry Sosa(notes) (0-2, 6.35) will make his second straight start against San Francisco. The rookie gave up four runs and four hits in five innings of the Astros’ 6-4 loss in 11 innings Sunday.
After failing to complete a sweep of the Giants on Sunday, the Astros dropped three straight at Colorado, capped by Wednesday’s 7-6 loss in 10 innings.
Wandy Rodriguez(notes), claimed off waivers by the Rockies earlier in the day, gave up six runs in six innings, but he’ll likely stay with Houston after the teams apparently failed to work out a trade.