Surging Giants look to stay hot behind Sanchez

Surging Giants look to stay hot behind Sanchez
May 11, 2011, 2:24 pm
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May 11, 2011

ARIZONA (15-19) vs.
GIANTS (19-16)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Clutch hitting and stellar pitching have the San Francisco Giants on the cusp of their longest winning streak in 10 months.

Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks may also be playing a part.

The Giants will try to make things a bit easier on their pitchers when they go for a five-game winning streak by continuing their success against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

San Francisco (19-16) has needed just 11 runs and a .218 average to string together four wins in a row - three in walk-off fashion - thanks to the staff's 1.00 ERA.

The Giants last won five in a row from July 10-17, and the pitchers could be key in matching that run.

They've come up big in the last two games. The Giants followed Sunday's 3-0 win over Colorado with a 1-0 victory against Arizona (15-19) as Cody Ross connected for a game-ending RBI single in the ninth inning of Tuesday's series opener.

URBAN: Boss is back

"We kind of have that fire going into those last innings knowing that anything can happen," said Tim Lincecum, who pitched eight innings Tuesday. "And stuff like this does, and it seems to happen to us quite a bit."

The Giants have won 16 of the last 20 meetings with Arizona, including eight of 10 and five in a row at home.

Jonathan Sanchez (2-2, 3.55 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday looking to continue his own home dominance of the Diamondbacks.

The left-hander is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 30 1-3 innings while holding Arizona to a .167 average over five starts in the series at AT&T Park since the start of 2009.

Sanchez, however, has struggled lately, laboring through another outing Thursday. He allowed five runs and five hits with six walks and six strikeouts in five innings of a 5-2 loss at New York.

That came after he walked six and hit two batters while allowing one unearned run and two hits in five innings of the Giants' 2-1 win at Washington on April 30.

"I'm not getting anything over the plate," Sanchez said. "I try to do my best. Nothing's working right now."

Eli Whiteside has caught Sanchez's last two starts, and feels a lack of confidence is the issue.

"I don't think anything drastic needs to be (done)," Whiteside told the team's official website. "Maybe a mechanical thing or something in his head. I think one thing is confidence. Go out there and have a couple of good innings, get his confidence up a little bit and then go back to being the old Johnny."

The Diamondbacks have dropped seven of eight on the road while hitting .204.

Armando Galarraga (3-2, 5.29) gets the ball looking to show some improvement after going 0-2 with a 4.40 ERA over his last three starts. The winless stretch has come after he won his first three games despite a 6.00 ERA.

Galarraga has served up 11 homers, one behind Texas' Colby Lewis for the most in the majors.

His latest effort ended with one out in the fifth inning after he allowed three runs and three hits while matching his career high with six walks in Friday's 4-3, 11-inning loss at San Diego.

Galarraga, though, was impressive in his only start versus the Giants, allowing two unearned runs in six innings of a 7-2 road win with Detroit on June 18, 2008.