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News » Rockies-Giants Preview 2009-05-03

Rockies-Giants Preview 2009-05-03

Rockies-Giants Preview 2009-05-03
His record may not show it, but Barry Zito is starting to make some progress on the mound for the San Francisco Giants.

On Sunday, the left-hander again tries for his first victory of the year while looking to help the Giants win their fifth consecutive series in the finale of a three-game home set against the Colorado Rockies.

Though Zito (0-2, 5.24 ERA) is winless in four starts, things don't appear as bad for the quirky veteran as they were in 2008 when he lost eight of his first nine decisions.

He allowed 10 runs over nine innings in losing his first two starts of 2009, but has started to turn it around. In his last two starts, he's given up three runs - all in his most recent outing - over a total of 13 1-3 innings as San Francisco (11-11) won both times.

"For whatever reason, my focus strayed a little bit here and there in the past," Zito told the Giants' official Web site.

In his most recent appearance, Zito yielded five hits and walked three in 6 1-3 innings, but took a shutout into the seventh inning of a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.

"You can see in his demeanor that he's not uptight or trying to do everything himself," Giants closer Brian Wilson said. "He knows that he can control only one aspect of the game - that's throw strikes."

Zito will try to help San Francisco bounce back from a 5-1 loss on Saturday after it won 3-2 in Friday's opener. He is 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in seven starts against the Rockies (9-13), who have won four of their last six contests.

Todd Helton is batting .308 (4-for-13) lifetime against Zito, and went 2-for-5 on Saturday for the Rockies, who are trying to win their third consecutive series at AT&T Park.

Looking for a sixth straight multihit game, Helton is 10-for-20 with seven RBIs in his last five contests.

Ryan Spilborghs went 3-for-4 with two homers - including a leadoff shot - and three RBIs for Colorado.

"I wasn't trying to do anything other than slap the ball and make contact," Spilborghs said of his leadoff homer. "Sometimes it works better when you don't think so much."

Jason Hammel (0-0, 5.59) makes his second straight start for the Rockies after coming out of the bullpen in his first three appearances of 2009.

The right-hander, who was acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on April 5, allowed four earned runs and seven hits while walking three in three innings of a 12-7 loss to San Diego on Monday.

He will make his first appearance against San Francisco.

Jason Marquis held the Giants to five hits for the second straight game Saturday. Pablo Sandoval homered for San Francisco, which is 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the series.

"We just got shut down," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team is the lowest scoring club in the majors with 81 runs.

Sandoval is 3-for-8 in the series, and 11-for-22 with two homers and six RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.

San Francisco, which has won each of its previous four home series in 2009, hasn't lost one overall since being swept at Dodger Stadium from April 13-16.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 3, 2009

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