Giants-Cubs Preview

The Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants have started to pick up steam thanks to an impressive performance at the plate.

While they may need to battle the elements, a visit to Wrigley Field isn't likely to cool them off.

Seeking a fourth consecutive win, the Giants look to continue their recent success against the Chicago Cubs as these teams open a four-game set Thursday afternoon.

After hitting .224 and scoring 15 runs during a 3-3 start, San Francisco (6-3) found its offense during a three-game sweep of Colorado. The Giants hit .365 and outscored the Rockies 23-8, including Wednesday's 10-0 win.

Buster Posey and Andres Torres both went 3 for 5 and drove in a combined five runs for San Francisco, which went 7 for 18 with runners in scoring position.

"The boys came out swinging," winning pitcher Barry Zito said. "They were starting to click on all cylinders offensively, which was great because a lot of people underestimate our offense. And days like today really show what we can offer."

The Giants are surely feeling good about their chances of keeping things going against the Cubs (3-5), who have hit .210 while dropping seven of eight in the series. San Francisco has also won eight of 13 at Wrigley while going 36 for 124 (.290) in RBI situations.

Batting .198 thus far, Chicago had been outscored 22-11 during a four-game skid before breaking through with a combined five runs in the seventh and eighth innings in Tuesday's 6-3 win over Milwaukee. David DeJesus had three hits and combined with Anthony Rizzo for four RBIs.

"It is very exciting to come back and win," Scott Hairston said. "I think throughout the season we will learn that we can come back no matter what the score is."

While the Cubs were looking forward to building on their come-from-behind effort, Wednesday's series finale was postponed due to inclement weather.

"I think you always want to keep playing after you win, and you had a little momentum," manager Dale Sveum told MLB's official website. "Guys had some good at-bats. So it's not one of those things where you don't want to play. But there was nothing you could do about today. I don't even know if it's football weather."

Chicago gives the ball to Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA), who gave up four runs, five hits and four walks before being removed with two outs in the fifth inning of Friday's 4-1 loss at Atlanta in his Cubs debut.

"He threw a lot of pitches that were uncompetitive pitches," Sveum said. "He was managing to get through a night where he didn't have much command of anything."

Feldman went 0-3 with a 5.54 ERA over four games - two starts - against the Giants while with Texas. Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence are a combined 8 for 18 off the right-hander.

The Giants counter with Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 8.44), who was also knocked around in season debut. The right-hander surrendered five runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings of Saturday's 6-3 loss to St. Louis.

"I just didn't make enough pitches," he said. "It's what it comes down to. I didn't feel like I pitched terrible. It was just one of those days."

Vogelsong, though, is 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA over his last four starts against the Cubs. He'll need to be wary of Alfonso Soriano, who's gone 5 for 12 with a homer in their matchups.

Chicago's Nate Schierholtz, who spent the first five-plus seasons of his career with San Francisco before being sent to Philadelphia in the Pence trade in July, faces his former club for the first time. The right fielder is batting .304 with a team-leading five runs.