Comebacks are nothing new for San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong, who makes his first start in almost 12 weeks on Friday night as the Giants begin a three-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles.
Vogelsong went 2-4 with a 7.19 earned run average in nine starts to begin the season before suffering a fractured right pinkie versus the Washington Nationals on May 20. He had logged five scoreless innings in that game before getting hit by a pitch on the hand.
The 36-year-old went a solid 2-1 with a 1.72 ERA in four rehab outings and is known for his resilience.
After flaming out with San Francisco and Pittsburgh over his first six seasons of baseball at the major league level, Vogelsong did not pitch in the majors for four years before rejoining the Giants for the 2011 campaign. He was an All-Star that season and then won a career-high 14 games in 2012, so this latest comeback should be nothing to the right-hander.
"It's been 2 1/2 months of what it took for me to get here in the first place," Vogelsong told the Giants' website of his rehab.
The Kutztown product will make his first ever start versus the Orioles. He has faced them once before in relief, but that was back in 2005 with the Pirates.
Vogelsong takes the hill one day after Tim Lincecum threw a gem to lead the Giants to an 8-4 win over Milwaukee on Thursday. Lincecum hurled eight innings of one-hit ball, also giving up a walk and striking out eight to record his first victory since his no-hitter on July 13.
"I'm just trying to stay within myself. I know I'm not blowing anyone away with a 95 mph fastball anymore. I have to use what I have and get the outs," Lincecum admitted.
San Francisco had lost four of five before winning the finale of the four-game set and is just 8-12 since the All-Star break.
Baltimore, meanwhile, is pushing for a playoff spot and sits 5 1/2 games back of Boston for first place in the AL East. The Orioles have won four of their past six and swept a two-game set with the San Diego Padres after winning Wednesday's finale 10-3.
The O's scored seven runs over the game's final two innings, with Chris Davis slamming a tie-breaking, three-run homer in the eighth. It was his 41st homer of the season and he leads the majors in home runs and RBI with 106.
"It was loud," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter of the blast estimated to have traveled 453 feet. "The thing about Chris is he's so lethal. He may have some bad at-bats, but he's never more than a swing away from really doing something good."
Davis, only the fifth Baltimore player ever to hit 40 homers in a season, is also batting a solid .302 on the year, but his hitless in eight career at-bats versus the Giants with four strikeouts.
Baltimore's Chris Tillman, a 2013 All-Star, aims to win his fifth straight start on Friday night despite some struggles last time out.
The 25-year-old righty picked up an 11-8 win over Seattle as he matched a season high with six runs allowed. Tillman yielded eight hits, including two homers and walked three batters over his 5 1/3 innings while striking out five.
Tillman has won 11 of his past 12 decisions and is 14-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 22 starts this season.
A second-round pick in 2006, Tillman lost his lone previous meeting with the Giants, giving up six runs over just two innings of work on June 14, 2010 in San Francisco.
This marks just the third ever series between these two clubs and third in San Francisco. The Giants have won two of three in each of the previous two sets.