Though San Francisco's follow-up to a championship season has been disappointing, Hunter Pence and Yusmeiro Petit have provided something positive for the Giants of late.
Pence and Petit look to continue their productive late-season stretches when the visiting Giants seek a fourth consecutive victory Tuesday night while trying to end their recent struggles against the New York Mets.
Pence has homered in a career-high four straight contests after hitting two in San Francisco's 4-3 win at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. The Giants (69-81) took the final three of the four-game set against NL West-leading Los Angeles, and have won six of eight overall.
"This is where we are," Pence told the Giants' official website. "We have to make the best of it. One way to make the best of it is to charge in as hard as we can.
Pence, who has tied a career high with 25 home runs, has hit six while going 13 for 25 in the last six games. His 19 RBIs during that stretch are the most for a Giants player since it became an official statistic in 1920.
"It's fun to watch when you see a good hitter locked in,'' manager Bruce Bochy said.
He went 3 for 14 when the Giants were swept at home by New York (67-82) in July, but batted .345 with a home run and five RBIs in his last seven at Citi Field.
San Francisco has dropped five in a row to the Mets - all at home - but won two straight and six of eight at New York.
Petit (3-0, 2.53 ERA) is 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA in four starts since being recalled from the minors Aug. 23.
After he lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning of a 3-0 win over Arizona on Sept. 6, the right-hander retired the first 11 batters before yielding three runs in 5 2-3 innings Wednesday against Colorado.
Petit struck out seven in a game the Giants rallied to win 4-3.
San Francisco has won all four starts by Petit, who last faced the Mets in relief while pitching for the Marlins in 2006.
New York counters with former Giants first-round pick Zack Wheeler (7-5, 3.22), who allowed a run and three hits in seven innings of a 7-2 victory at San Francisco on July 10. The Giants drafted Wheeler sixth overall in 2009, then traded him to New York in the Carlos Beltran deal of 2011.
"I didn't know how I was going to feel when I got out there," Wheeler said in July of facing the club that drafted him. "Honestly, I was relaxed.''
The right-hander has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his last seven starts, including three total while losing the last two as his teammates failed to provide any help. Wheeler gave up a run in seven innings of a 3-0 loss to Washington on Wednesday.
The Mets scored eight runs in four games against Miami over the weekend, but won three. Rookie Travis d'Arnaud's RBI single with two outs in the 12th sent New York to a 1-0 victory Sunday.
Daniel Murphy has four hits in two games, and is 5 for 10 in his last three home games versus San Francisco.
Pence went 0 for 3 with a strikeout against Wheeler in July.