SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez will seek to reverse a trend of pitching in bad luck when the faces the San Diego Padres on Saturday afternoon on the third day of a four-game series.
Suarez (2-4 Youth Josey Jewell Jersey , 4.70 ERA), who has just one decision (a win) in his last five starts, is coming off back-to-back outings that were mirror images of one another.
Facing the Miami Marlins on both occasions, Suarez was pulled in the sixth and seventh innings of his last two starts, both times having held the opponent to two runs and both times exiting with a lead.
But the Marlins rallied against the Giants’ bullpen each time, pulling out a 5-4 win in both games.
The rookie has allowed three earned runs or fewer six times this season, yet has only two wins to show for it.
One of those six games occurred the only time he faced the Padres.
Lo and behold, he pitched seven innings in that May 1 game, allowing two runs, and left a 2-2 tie. The Giants went on to lose 3-2.
He’s 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA against the Padres.
Suarez can expect to see a bit of a different look from San Diego on Saturday Youth DaeSean Hamilton Jersey , as Padres manager Andy Green indicated Friday that he’s strongly considering moving Manuel Margot back to the leadoff spot against the left-hander.
Green put Wil Myers atop his lineup card Thursday night against another lefty, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, and it did not go well. Myers went hitless and the Padres got shut out 3-0.
Batting seventh against a right-hander on Friday night, Margot had two hits and two RBIs in San Diego’s 6-2 win.
He has raised his average to .245 after having spent much of the first two months below .200. He batted leadoff 15 times in that early stretch.
“He’s settled in so comfortably in that seven spot, I haven’t wanted to make an adjustment with him,” said Green, noting he came close to penciling him back into the leadoff spot Thursday. “It’s been such a push for us to get him going that once he’s gotten going, it has seemed prudent to leave him alone down there in the seven hole.
“I do think sometime in the near future you’re going to see him back toward the top, against left-handed pitching especially.”
Margot, the club’s leadoff hitter on Opening Day Youth Sylvester Williams Jersey , hit just .156 atop the lineup before getting demoted in May. He has hit .333 while batting seventh.
Another decision Green will have to make Saturday is what to do with third baseman Cory Spangenberg, who contributed two hits and two runs to Friday’s win.
Spangenberg has hit safely in a personal-best 11 straight starts but hasn’t been starting lately against left-handed pitchers, against whom he is batting just .143 this season.
The Padres will send right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-4, 4.46) to the mound hoping he can snap a three-game skid, during which he has allowed 13 runs in 17 1/3 innings.
Lyles pitched three times out of the bullpen in earlier meetings with the Giants, limiting them to one hit and no runs in 4 2/3 innings.
That was quite a contrast to the last time he started against San Francisco, which was in an 8-0 loss in September. He gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Lyles has faced the Giants 17 times in his career, seven times as a starter, going 3-3 with a 6.11 ERA.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling knows he will have to weather the early going Sunday if he wants to get back to his winning ways.
Stripling will face a Colorado Rockies team that is known for fast starts. The Rockies lead all of baseball with 70 runs scored in the opening inning. They also lead the majors with 24 first-inning home runs.
The Rockies are focused on trying to counter the Dodgers’ offensive muscle. Manager Bud Black is preaching to his pitchers to be aggressive.
“We knew coming in (the Dodgers) had power,” Black said. “We know that you have to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate. We have been attacking them and going after them to get into more favorable counts. That’s the message we send to all teams and we have to do it again (Sunday).”
Keeping opponents in check early is one of the many things Stripling has excelled at during his breakout season. The Texas native has allowed one first-inning run in his 11 previous starts Youth Kerryon Johnson Jersey , and two extra-base hits.
Rockies starter Chad Bettis also must prepare for a potential volatile first inning. Not only do the Rockies score a ton early, they also have given up 70 runs in the first inning to lead the majors. Their 21 first-inning home runs allowed are second-most in baseball.
The good news for Colorado is that they are on the road where runs and long balls are harder to come by than at Coors Field. And Bettis is the perfect example.
Bettis 5-1 overall with a 5.07 ERA, with all his decisions coming on the road, where he has a 2.72 ERA. At the start of play Saturday, Bettis’ five road victories were tied for third in the NL. He posted his sixth quality start on the road Tuesday at San Francisco, but did not get a decision.
There is added pressure on Bettis after the Rockies demoted Opening Day starter Jon Gray to Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday. In 17 starts this season, Gray was a disappointing 7-7 with a 5.77 ERA.
“This was the right time to get Jon to Triple-A to work on some things, not so much mechanically, but mentally, and to realize the inconsistencies that have been happening this season Youth Tracy Walker Jersey ,” manager Bud Black told The Denver Post after the Rockies optioned Gray.
Stripling has been a bit more consistent.
In his past three outings, he is 1-1 with a no-decision. He beat the Giants, then lost to the Cubs despite giving up only three runs on June 20. Six days later, he went five innings and gave up one run in the no-decision.
“He’s been fantastic,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of his starter. “For him to not be as sharp as usual and to keep (the Cubs) to one run in five innings is a credit to him. He gives us a chance every single time he takes the mound. He’s done more than exceed our expectations.”
After rolling through most of June behind an offense that hit a franchise-record 55 home runs for a single month, the Dodgers have looked less invincible in recent days. They split a four-game home series against the Cubs and now have lost two consecutive games to the Rockies.
The Rockies will not look back at their overall June play so fondly, but they ended the month on a three-game win streak.
Colorado went 11-16 in the month. Nolan Arenado was a bright spot as he is the reigning NL Player of the Week. Arenado had home runs in seven of 10 games before play Saturday, a run that included a homer in four consecutive contests.