A rookie season that started with plenty of promise and a no-hitter has turned sour for Chris Heston, and to make matters worse, the San Francisco Giants lineup has stopped producing for him.
He'll try for his first victory in seven starts Wednesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks with the desperate Giants seeking a series win.
Heston was 11-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 2.50 walks per nine innings in 20 starts entering August as the team backed him with a 5.93 run-support average. The right-hander has since gone 0-4 with a 5.28 ERA and 4.66 walks per nine while receiving 2.48 runs a game.
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Heston (11-9, 3.54 ERA) got tagged with back-to-back homers in Friday's 2-1 loss in Colorado and has given up seven in five starts after going 76 2-3 innings over his previous 12 without surrendering one.
All three of his games against the Diamondbacks came early on with Heston going 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA. He's limited A.J. Pollock (0 for 6 with three strikeouts) and Chris Owings (1 for 9), but Paul Goldschmidt is 3 for 6 with two doubles and David Peralta is 3 for 9 with a home run.
Fellow rookie Zack Godley (4-1, 3.62) also got off to an impressive start but saw his fortunes change drastically in Friday's 14-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Godley gave up six runs and four hits with six walks in 3 2-3 innings for easily his worst outing.
"I just couldn't locate," Godley told MLB's official website. "My arm feels great, my body feels great. For some reason I couldn't find it today. You've just got to let it go and come back and do better the next time."
The right-hander has pitched on the road in his last five outings after holding visiting Milwaukee scoreless in six innings of his big league debut, an 8-3 win July 23.
Venue hasn't helped the Diamondbacks (66-73) against the Giants (72-67). San Francisco won 6-2 on Tuesday to even the series and earn its sixth win in eight games in Arizona. The Giants haven't lost a series there since being swept in three to begin 2012, going 24-9 since while never losing consecutive contests.
The latest handed Arizona its fifth loss in six overall and eighth in 10 at home.
San Francisco has won three of four following a crippling seven-game losing streak, but it's lost ground with the Dodgers and Cubs each winning five straight. The Giants trail Los Angeles by 8 1/2 in the NL West and are nine back of Chicago for the second wild card.
Joe Panik has provided some spark with a home run and two doubles in four at-bats while scoring three times in two games back from the disabled list. The second baseman is batting .356 in his last 19 games and .426 in 14 against the Diamondbacks this year. Even so, manager Bruce Bochy said Panik won't be in the lineup every day in order to help manage his back issues.
"It's not going to be a chronic thing," Panik said. "I just have to listen to my body."
If he's in the lineup Wednesday, he could be without double-play partner Brandon Crawford, who left after the sixth inning Tuesday with tightness in his left calf and left side.