Sputtering for much of May, the San Francisco Giants' offense is starting to come around.
Ryan Vogelsong hopes his teammates still have some offense for his start.
A victim of poor run support, Vogelsong takes the ball Saturday for the Giants, who look to win their third in a row and continue their home dominance over the Oakland Athletics.
After averaging a major league-worst 2.9 runs in its first 15 games this month, San Francisco (20-19) defeated St. Louis 7-5 on Thursday and followed that up with Friday's 8-6 victory over the A's.
Brandon Belt drove in three runs Friday, while Angel Pagan doubled, walked three times and scored three times. Pagan also walked three times and scored twice Thursday, and is batting .520 with a .636 on-base percentage in the last seven games.
With Friday's victory, the Giants extended their home winning streak over the A's to 10 games since a 5-3 loss on June 15, 2008. San Francisco's longest home winning streak against an opponent at AT&T Park is 12, against the New York Mets from May 1, 2000-May 16, 2003, a mark the Giants could match with a weekend sweep.
San Francisco would seem to have a decent chance of getting the sweep with Vogelsong (1-2, 2.66 ERA) and Tim Lincecum pitching Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Vogelsong has a 1.27 ERA in three May starts after recording a 4.19 ERA in three April outings, but only has one win to show for his solid pitching this month. A lack of offensive support has cost the right-hander a chance at a few more victories, as his 1.99 run support average is the worst in baseball.
Vogelsong pitched well enough to win his lone outing against the A's last season, permitting an unearned run and four hits in six innings at AT&T Park on May 20, but again was backed by just one run in the Giants' 2-1, 10-inning victory.
Oakland (20-20) is last in the AL in runs (144) and batting average (.219), and could have been headed for another meager showing in Friday's opener had it not been for an unexpected performance from Josh Donaldson.
Entering the game 4 for 49 (.082) with a double and two RBIs, Donaldson erupted with a solo homer, RBI double and a three-run double to finish with career bests of three hits and five RBIs. That performance wasn't enough, however, as the A's lost for the third time in four games and fell to 4-15 in NL parks since 2010.
"This game was very emotional for me,'' Donaldson said. "I've been grinding all season and things just haven't been going my way. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I feel comfortable here and I'll just continue to work at it.''
Scheduled starter Tyson Ross (2-3, 6.25) will carry a similar mindset into Saturday's game.
Ross gave up five hits and a walk in six innings in Monday's 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander has been hit-or-miss in his six starts, recording a 2.22 ERA in four of his outings and a 19.64 ERA in the other two.
"Another big step in the right direction," he told the Athletics' official website. "Any time you can gain momentum like that, especially after having a rough outing, you get some confidence and look forward to the next outing."
In his only career appearance against the Giants on June 22, 2010, Ross allowed two runs in an inning of relief.
- San Francisco Giants
- Ryan Vogelsong
- San Francisco
- Oakland Athletics