The Giants dropped yesterday's opener, 3-1, to fall three games behind Arizona for the National League West lead. The defending World Series champions received a team-high two hits from Jeff Keppinger and starter Ryan Vogelsong was dealt the loss for allowing all three runs over 7 1/3 innings.
"Location wasn't all that great, but I tried to pitch with what I had, which wasn't a whole lot," Vogelsong admitted. "It was definitely a grind."
San Francisco is 1-2 on a 12-game homestand and has lost seven of its last 10 games. It will also host the Cubs and Diamondbacks on this residency. Giants catcher Eli Whiteside returned to action and went 1-for-3 with a run scored. He was activated off of the seven-day disabled list with a concussion suffered a week ago while sliding head-first into second base.
Madison Bumgarner will toe the rubber for the Giants tonight and he's 7-12 with a 3.68 earned run average in 26 starts. He has lost three of his previous four decisions and was beaten by the Astros in Saturday's 7-5 loss at Minute Maid Park, where he gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings in his first appearance against Houston.
Bumgarner, a lefty, is 4-6 in 13 home starts this season.
Houston ended a four-game losing streak last night, as Jordan Schafer recorded two hits, including a home run, and three runs scored. J.D. Martinez doubled twice and knocked in a pair of runs for the Astros, who won for the fifth time in their last nine tries.
Astros young hurler Henry Sosa threw six innings of one-run ball, struck out three and walked three batters for the win. Wilton Lopez then tossed two scoreless innings before Mark Melancon kept the Giants off the scoreboard in the ninth for his 14th save.
"The way he went after hitters, it was very impressive," Astros manager Brad Mills said of Sosa. "The first couple times out, maybe he was just trying to get his feet wet, was trying to feel for it a little bit. Tonight he wasn't feeling for it. We saw the arm that everybody had seen at Double-A. He went right after the guys with all his pitches. He was very impressive."
J.A. Happ was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City Wednesday to take Jordan Lyles' spot in the rotation and will toe the rubber for Houston tonight. Happ has struggled to a 4-14 record this season with a 6.26 ERA in 22 starts and has lost his previous three trips to the mound. Happ was last on the hill in an 8-1 setback to Milwaukee on Aug. 5 and gave up six runs and seven hits through four innings.
Happ is 1-10 in his past 11 decisions and lost his only start against San Francisco on Sept. 2, 2009 as a member of the Phillies. The southpaw is only 1-8 in 10 starts away from home this season.
Houston is 1-3 on a seven-game road trip and took a three-game series from the Giants earlier in the year. The Astros have won five of the past six meetings with San Francisco.