The Giants can only imagine how Houston felt after the Astros hit a season-high four home runs Sunday to capture a series win over the Chicago White Sox.
After setting a San Francisco-era franchise record by going 16 consecutive home games, covering 506 at-bats, without a homer, the Giants look to break the streak when they welcome the Astros for a three-game set. San Francisco stands five games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers after losing two of three against Texas.
Right fielder Gregor Blanco has the Giants’ only home run hit in their home park in their last 22 home games. It was back on May 14 against Colorado.
When San Francisco isn’t worrying about pitcher Tim Lincecum’s struggles, the club is focused on third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s weight. The Giants have lost each of Lincecum’s last eight starts, and Sandoval appears bigger than ever after coming off the disabled list Saturday. Sandoval seems receptive to the criticism, but that doesn’t help the team in the short term.
“They’re the bosses. They make the decisions. If they say what they want me to do, I’ve got to get in shape.”
Meanwhile, Houston’s primary concern is its 8-20 road record. The Astros took a step forward by winning two of three in Chicago for their first road-series victory of the season.
The Giants will try to right the ship against Astros right-hander Bud Norris today.
After beginning the season 5-1, Norris has lost his last two decisions. He gave up four runs with 12 strikeouts over six innings last Wednesday against St. Louis. The Novato native allowed two runs over seven innings in his lone start against the Giants on Aug. 281.
Madison Bumgarner earned his team-leading seventh win against San Diego on Wednesday when he gave up four runs over six innings. Bumgarner, who has given up at least four runs in four of his past six starts, is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two career games against the Astros.
NOTE: Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera (hamstring) is expected to return to the starting lineup today after missing three straight starts.
— SportsDirect via Reuters