September 17, 2017 / 11:50 PM / 2 months ago

Preview: Diamondbacks at Giants

The San Francisco Giants find themselves in treacherous territory, needing to win at least half of their final 12 games to avoid the second 100-loss season in franchise history. The cellar-dwelling Giants have dropped four in a row heading into Sunday’s finale of a three-game series against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, who are closing in on playoff spot.

Zack Greinke tossed eight shutout innings and Paul Goldschmidt blasted a two-run homer in Saturday’s 2-0 victory as Arizona won for the 20th time in its last 25 games and reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff berth to six. Right fielder J.D. Martinez, who was scratched from Friday’s contest due to neck stiffness, returned to the lineup Saturday and went 0-for-4 but is hitting .418 with 10 homers and 20 RBI over his last 13 games. Hunter Pence (back) is expected to miss his second straight game Sunday for the Giants, who have lost 15 of their last 20. “We really would like to avoid losing 100 games,” manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. “Nobody wants to lose 100 games. We all have pride. We’ll be doing anything we can do, all we can do, to finish this thing on a good note and not let that happen.”

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Taijuan Walker (9-7, 3.32 ERA) vs. Giants RH Chris Stratton (2-3, 4.07)

Walker settled for a no-decision against Colorado last Tuesday, allowing two runs with five walks over six innings. The 25-year-old is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA over his last four starts and has pitched well against San Francisco this season, going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four outings. Jarrett Parker is 4-for-14 with a home run against Walker, who has not allowed more than three earned runs over his last 15 road starts dating back to 2016, the longest active streak in the majors.

Stratton recorded one out last Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers before a lengthy rain delay ended his outing. The 27-year-old has made a case for a spot in next season’s rotation by going 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA over his last five starts. Stratton faced Arizona for the second time in his career on Aug. 27 at Chase Field, taking the loss after allowing two runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts over six innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Arizona RHP Fernando Rodney is one save away from 300 in his career.

2. RHP Ryan Vogelsong will retire as a member of the Giants in a ceremony before Sunday’s game.

3. Arizona is 17-4 in its last 20 games against National League West opponents.

PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 6, Giants 2

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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