GIANTS (19-25) AT DIAMONDBACKS (25-21)
4:10 p.m. ET; FS-A, NBCSBA, MLB.TV
Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray will bring a history of success into his start against San Francisco on Sunday when the teams conclude a three-game series at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Ray was 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts against the Giants in 2017-18 and is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA against them in 11 career starts, with 83 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.
San Francisco will counter with left-hander Drew Pomeranz (1-4, 5.93 ERA), who will make his first start since landing on the injured list with a left lat strain following a May 6 outing in Cincinnati, when he gave up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings of a 12-4 loss.
The Giants evened the series at one game apiece when Steven Duggar, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt had two hits apiece and Pablo Sandoval and Belt homered to back Madison Bumgarner, who gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings in an 8-5 victory on Saturday.
“This is as good as I’ve felt,” said Bumgarner, who improved to 3-4. “I’m throwing the ball as good as I ever have. The results not being there to match up is frustrating, but when our offense is putting up eight then it’s easier to deal with. But it’s about winning and that’s it.”
Ray, 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA, has won his last three decisions and has given up six earned runs in his last five starts, a 1.98 ERA. He has 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 27 1/3 innings in that span.
“He’s in a really good spot right now,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s pounding the zone with his fastball. He’s finishing off hitters more efficiently rather than getting some foul balls or maybe some seven-pitch walks where the batter is grinding him down. Then he is landing his breaking balls. He is changing shapes on a couple of different breaking balls. The curveball-slider combination has been very, very good.”
Ray’s current stretch is similar to a 10-game run he had in 2017, when he was 7-1 with a 1.89 ERA en route to a career-high 15 wins and a career-low 2.89 ERA in 28 starts.
“He has that look of a very confident pitcher,” Lovullo said. “Every time he takes the mound you can tell he’s ready to go. Pounding the zone with every single pitch. It’s very reminiscent of what we saw in ’17.”
Arizona played without outfielders David Peralta (right trapezius) and Jarrod Dyson (bruised hand) on Saturday, but neither injury is considered serious, according to Lovullo, who added that Zack Greinke will make his next scheduled start Tuesday. Greinke left his last start with an abdominal muscle strain, but an MRI was negative and his bullpen session Saturday went smoothly.
Pomeranz threw four innings in a simulated game Tuesday and will not be on a pitch limit, manager Bruce Bochy said.
In his first season with San Francisco, Pomeranz has one quality start among seven and has thrown more than 90 pitches once. He is 0-3 with an 8.51 ERA in eight appearances against the Diamondbacks, five starts, but has not faced them since 2016.
Bochy was encouraged by right-hander Johnny Cueto’s 40-pitch bullpen session Saturday afternoon as he works to return from Tommy John surgery last August. Bochy said he will not be surprised if Cueto pitches in September.
“Right now, the arm is telling me he wants to pitch,” Cueto said. “Whatever decision they make, I’m good with it.”
–Field Level Media