With a chance to make up more ground in the NL West standings, the San Francisco Giants turn to double-digit winner Madison Bumgarner on Sunday afternoon in the hopes of sweeping a three-game set versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Giants have taken the first two games of this set -- and four straight overall in this season series -- to pull within 4 1/2 games of the Diamondbacks for the division's top spot.
San Francisco held on for a 4-3 victory in Saturday's meeting, the fifth triumph in its last six games overall. Buster Posey hit a two-run homer and is batting .429 over a seven-game hitting streak.
Pablo Sandoval had two hits and also drove in a run, while Matt Cain snapped a three-decision skid by yielding two runs over five-plus innings of work.
"I thought Matt looked good," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his starter. "He threw the ball well tonight. I thought overall a real nice effort and won the ballgame for us."
Following Cain, six San Francisco relievers combined to keep the visitors off the board before Sergio Romo secured his 23rd save of the season, despite giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth.
It wasn't all good news though as reliever Jeremy Affeldt could be headed for the disabled list due to a left groin strain he suffered in the sixth inning.
Arizona, meanwhile, has dropped three straight games to see its lead atop the NL West shrink to just one-half game over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Martin Prado plated a pair of runs and scored another to account for Arizona's offense, which left 13 men on base and has just three hits in its last 29 chances with runners in scoring position.
Starter Wade Miley gave up two runs on four hits over four innings to absorb the loss, lifted for a pinch-hitter with the D'backs trying to get some runs.
"It's obviously not the way we wanted to start the second half, but we still have 65 more games," Miley said of his team dropping back-to-back games coming out of the All-Star break. "It's really no need to hit the panic button right now. We'll be fine."
The Giants are 8-3 against Arizona this season and hope Bumgarner can win a fourth straight start today. His chances are good given that the 23-year-old is 1-0 with a 1.86 earned run average in three starts versus the D'backs this season.
Bumgarner has won six of his past seven starts, posting a 2.30 ERA over that time. He has given up five runs in his past three outings, two of those over seven innings in a win over the San Diego Padres on July 11. The left-hander finished strong, retiring 20 of the final 21 batters he faced.
"Early, he was getting under the ball and leaving pitches up. But he made a nice adjustment and gave us seven solid innings in a much, much-needed win," said Bochy of Bumgarner, who has gone seven frames in six straight starts and is 10-5 with a 3.02 ERA this season.
Looking to become a steady contributor to Arizona's rotation, Randall Delgado takes the mound today and is 1-3 with a 3.92 ERA in seven outings (6 starts) this season. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of those appearances.
The 23-year-old righty did not factor into his most recent start last Saturday versus Milwaukee, charged with four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and a walk in six innings.
Delgado has faced the Giants once before and did not get a decision despite six innings of one-run, one-hit ball while with the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 16, 2011 in just his second big league appearance. The lone run he allowed came on a homer.
The Giants last swept the Diamondbacks on May 10-12, 2011, taking all three meetings in San Francisco.