Barry Zito tries for his first win in five starts on Sunday when the San Francisco Giants close out a four-game set with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Zito was hit hard in a loss in Toronto on Tuesday, as he allowed eight runs (5 earned) and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings to fall to 3-2 on the year, while raising his ERA to 3.40.
Six of those runs and six of the hits came in the first inning.
"In the first inning, I have to be able to pick up the guys," said Zito. "Some of them just came out aggressive and hit them where they wanted to. A lot of balls through the infield today."
Zito has struggled away from home this season, pitching to an 11.25 ERA over three starts. Both of his losses this season have come on the road.
Zito pitched seven scoreless innings to beat the Rockies earlier in the year and is 8-2 lifetime against them with a 2.47 ERA in 21 games (19 starts).
Colorado, meanwhile, will counter with righty Juan Nicasio, who is 3-1 with a 5.13 ERA. Nicasio suffered his first loss of the season on Monday in Chicago, as the Cubs roughed him up for five runs in six innings.
"He's been up-and-down this year, shown some promise at times," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said when asked if Nicasio's spot in the rotation is secure. "We'll continue to evaluate."
Nicasio is 0-1 in two starts versus the Giants with a 5.73 ERA.
Colorado won its second straight game on Saturday, as Wilin Rosario hit a two- run home run and drove in three runs to lead the Rockies to a 10-2 rout.
Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler knocked in two runs apiece and Carlos Gonzalez had an RBI for the Rockies, who have scored 10 runs in winning each of the last two contests.
Tyler Chatwood (2-0) allowed one run on seven hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. He also drove in a run in the victory.
"Tyler has thrown the ball really well for us. He's been very impressive," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford each had an RBI for the Giants, who were 2- for-10 with runners in scoring position. Starter Tin Lincecum (3-3) surrendered six runs on seven hits and two walks in five frames.
"Timmy started off good, one inning the error hurt him," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "Then it kind of got away from him."
Despite the last two wins, the Rockies have dropped 12 of their last 16 home meetings with San Francisco.