Arguably the hottest hitter in baseball, Melky Cabrera will look to continue his roll Monday when the Giants open a seven-game homestand against the Diamondbacks. San Francisco (25-23) has shown recent signs it may be capable of challenging the major league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Giants have won seven of 11 and defeated Miami 3-2 on Sunday to complete a 4-3 road trip. No player had a bigger role in Sunday's win than Cabrera, who went 4 for 4 with a solo homer, three runs scored and two steals. It was the third four-hit game this season for Cabrera, the major league leader with 73 hits - the most by a Giants player through 48 games since Willie Mays in 1958.
Cabrera, whose .369 average ranks second in the NL, went 9 for 18 in the four-game series against the Marlins. He's batting .426 with 17 RBIs this month. Bruce Bochy's team had lost nine straight to the Diamondbacks (22-26) before Cabrera went 7 for 10 and helped the Giants take the final two of a three-game set at Arizona earlier this month. He is 13 for 28 (.464) with two homers, three doubles and six RBIs in six games this season versus the Diamondbacks, and is a lifetime .381 hitter against them. The Giants may need Cabrera to continue his hot hitting with struggling Barry Zito (3-2, 3.53 ERA) on the mound.
Zito is 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA in his last four starts and lasted a season-low three innings in Wednesday's 8-5 loss at Milwaukee. He allowed the first six batters to reach base in a 40-pitch first inning and wound up allowing eight runs - four earned - five hits and four walks. The left-hander beat the Diamondbacks with six strong innings on May 13, but is 4-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 16 career starts against them.
Meanwhile Arizona begins a six-game trip after rallying past the Brewers 4-3 on Sunday for its third win in four games. Aaron Hill went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles as the Diamondbacks won a series at home for the first time since a season-opening sweep of the Giants. The season-opening sweep was part of a season-best four-game winning streak for Arizona, which hopes another effective start from Trevor Cahill (2-4, 3.74) can help the club win three in a row for the first time since April 29-May 1. After allowing four runs in consecutive outings, the right-hander limited the Dodgers to one run over six innings Tuesday but his bullpen failed to hold the lead in an 8-7 loss.
The price is right in this spot and while we're up against a pitcher's ballpark this afternoon, the ball should have more of a tendency to carry in the daytime sun with ample area in the corners and the deepest part of the ballpark. Whiule the snakes have battled injuries as a reults of their slow start through the first quarter of the season, they will look to start another streak away from Chase Field led by Hill (.269 5 18) Justin Upton (.258 5 19). and Jason Kublel (.299 4 23). Zito will have to be at his best as will Cahill, who faces a Giants lineup whose .262 average has surprisingly exceeded expectaions with the emergence of Cabrera (.369 4 25) and having Buster Posey (.269 4 25) healthy again. Angel Pagan (.308 4 19) has shown he hasn't missed a beat since leaving NY, though one must wonder how much more effective SF would be with Pablo Sandoval back in the lineup as he is expected back in 2 weeks from a hand injury. Best of luck however you play!