Published September 08, 2013
| Sports Network
The Arizona Diamondbacks have to play dominant baseball the rest of the way if they want to cash in on a postseason spot.
The D'backs have won three of their last four games and target a series win over the San Francisco Giants Sunday in the finale of a four-game set.
Arizona, which dropped Friday's game by a 3-0 score, came back with Saturday's 2-1 win behind a brilliant performance from starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy. The right-hander struck out six batters and allowed one walk through eight innings of one-run ball.
Brad Ziegler relieved McCarthy in the ninth inning for his ninth save.
"Since he's been hurt he's come back and really worked hard," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said about McCarthy. "He's been pitching really well for us lately after making some adjustments. He's throwing the ball more natural now."
Paul Goldschmidt was 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Gerardo Parra added two hits and drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who are eight games off the pace for the final wild card berth in the National League.
The D'backs, who are slated to visit Los Angeles on Monday, were almost a victim of a perfect game on Friday and have received great pitching from Trevor Cahill, Patrick Corbin and McCarthy in this set.
Arizona hopes Wade Miley can last a bit longer than his last time out when he takes the ball Sunday. In Tuesday's 10-4 loss to Toronto, Miley was tagged for five runs and eight hits in a career-low 1 2/3 innings to fall to 9-10 in 28 starts with a 3.78 earned run average.
Miley, a left-hander, has dropped back-to-back appearances and hasn't won since Aug. 6 versus the Tampa Bay Rays. He is 0-1 in two starts against the Giants this season and 1-3 with a 3.51 ERA in five career games, four of which have been starts, lifetime in this series.
The defending World Series champion Giants are playing out the string and have lost four of their last six games. One night after Yusmeiro Petit flirted with perfection, Matt Cain was dealt a hard-luck loss Saturday and gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
"McCarthy threw the ball really well and it was moving all over," said Cain. "Games like this come down to who makes more mistakes and I did today."
Marco Scutaro had the lone RBI and Hunter Pence recorded a team-best two hits in a losing effort.
San Francisco will start a three-game home series versus the Colorado Rockies on Monday and occupy last place in the NL West. In injury news for the club, All-Star catcher Buster Posey took batting practice Saturday and is nursing a fractured right ring finger.
Madison Bumgarner hopes to get some run support when he takes the mound for the Giants on Sunday. Bumgarner is 1-4 in his last nine starts and the Giants have totaled 20 runs in that time. In Tuesday's 3-2 loss at San Diego, Bumgarner did not record a decision and allowed two runs in six innings.
The left-handed Bumgarner is 11-9 in 28 starts with a solid 2.91 earned run average and hasn't tasted victory since Aug. 2 at Tampa Bay. He is 1-1 in four starts against the D'backs this season and 4-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 career meetings (12 starts) with them.
The Giants have won 11 of 18 from the Diamondbacks this season.