The San Francisco Giants target a series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks today in the desert before they return home.
The Giants had dropped two straight, three of four and the opener of this series before evening the set with Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Matt Cain struck out eight and allowed one run through six innings, while four other relievers contributed in the win.
Javier Lopez, Clay Hensley, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla combined to hold Arizona to one unearned run over four innings with Casilla notching his seventh save of the season. Cain even helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with two RBI at the plate.
"What an old school type of effort. He did everything tonight," manager Bruce Bochy said of his starter. "It's playing the game the way it's supposed to be played. The pitchers can help themselves, too. A great effort and we needed it. It's nice to get on the board here."
Melky Cabrera added three hits and knocked in a pair of runs, while Angel Pagan collected three hits as well for the Giants, who are 2-3 on a six-game road trip and will open a seven-game homestand Monday versus Colorado. San Francisco also won for just the fourth time in its last 11 games overall.
The Giants will pin pitching duties on Barry Zito this afternoon and he is 1-1 with a 2.21 earned run average over six starts. He suffered his first loss of the season in Monday's 9-1 blasting by the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he was reached for a season-high three runs and eight hits in six frames.
Zito had been 1-0 in five starts with a 1.76 ERA before taking on the rival Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. The lefty and 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland is just 3-8 with a 5.42 ERA in 16 career games (15 starts) against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona will put the finishing touches on a six-game homestand Sunday and is just 1-4 so far on the residency.
Trevor Cahill started for the D'Backs in the middle portion of this series and was saddled with the loss for allowing four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 frames. Cahill didn't get much offense, as Jason Kubel led the way with a team-best two hits. Kubel and Aaron Hill both scored a run for Arizona, which dropped its eighth game in the previous 10 tries.
"I don't like losing," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "I think it's the way we played. We had a good win last night and we did not follow up the effort tonight."
The Diamondbacks were coming off Friday's 5-1 victory in the series opener. They will begin a seven-game road trip Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arizona starter Joe Saunders hopes to rebound from his worst loss of the season when he toes the rubber today. In a 9-6 loss versus St. Louis on Monday, Saunders was pelted for seven runs -- six earned -- and nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings.
He allowed five earned runs combined in his five previous outings. Saunders fell to 2-2 in six starts and saw his ERA go from 1.24 to 2.50. The lefty, who is 1-2 in three trips to the Chase Field mound this season, has yet to prevail in four career starts against San Francisco, going 0-3 with a 4.15 ERA.
Arizona swept the Giants in three games from April 6-8 and had won nine in a row in this series before last night's setback. San Francisco also halted an eight-game slide at Chase Field, winning there for the first time since June 15, 2011.