Michael Cuddyer has been especially locked in at the plate of late, but his individual efforts haven't translated into many wins for the Colorado Rockies.
Not much has gone right for the San Francisco Giants, either.
Cuddyer tries to extend the longest hitting streak in franchise history Friday night as the slumping Rockies open a three-game set against the visiting Giants, who hope to avoid a season worst-tying fifth consecutive loss.
One day after hitting a pair of homers in a 5-3 defeat at Boston, Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 24 games Thursday, going 3 for 4 in a 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.
"Anytime you can put your name in any type of record book for a good thing is a good thing," said Cuddyer, batting .390 with five homers and 16 RBIs during his run. "I'd trade it for a win, though."
The Rockies have dropped 11 of 15, including their last three by a 19-9 margin.
San Francisco (38-40), meanwhile, has lost nine of 12 to fall a season-worst two games under .500. The Giants, who have gone 4 for 25 with runners in scoring position during their four-game skid, suffered five straight defeats April 23-28.
"It's always tough when you're going through a stretch like we're going through," manager Bruce Bochy said following Wednesday's 4-2 road loss to the Dodgers. "The only thing you can do is keep grinding and believe it's going to turn around, which we do."
All-Star third baseman Pablo Sandoval, hitless in his last nine at_bats, is batting .216 with just one homer - his only extra-base hit - and five RBIs during a 19-game stretch.
Sandoval, though, is 7 for his last 14 with two homers, a triple and a double against scheduled starter Jhoulys Chacin (6-3, 3.92 ERA), who's recently struggled in the series. The right-hander yielded a career-high eight runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in an 8-6 loss May 16, dropping to 0-4 with a 6.68 ERA in his last six starts versus San Francisco.
Chacin, however, has won his last three outings overall while posting a 1.74 ERA. He allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings Saturday in a 7-1 victory at Washington.
"He just made a lot of good pitches, with both his fastball and his breaking stuff," Nationals manager Davey Johnson told MLB's official website.
The Giants counter with Barry Zito (4-5, 4.40), who gave up one run and six hits in seven innings Saturday in a 2-1, 11-inning victory over Miami. The left-hander, though, can't be looking forward to hitting the road, where he's 0-4 with an 11.28 ERA - more than nine runs higher than his home mark of 1.98.
"At home, I've caught some breaks and kept stuff done in the zone and I haven't on the road," he said after surrendering eight runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings during a 12-8 loss at Pittsburgh in his last road outing June 12. "I've felt pretty good in some of these starts out on the road, but I just haven't been able to get people out."
Zito went 8-2 with a 2.51 ERA in his first 19 starts against the Rockies before going 0-1 with a 6.94 mark in his last two. He was tagged for five runs and 11 hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-0 defeat May 19 in his most recent visit to Coors Field.
Carlos Gonzalez is 12 for 34 with two homers against Zito, and Dexter Fowler is 9 for his last 28 with three doubles. Fowler, though, could miss a third straight game with a sore right wrist.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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