The San Francisco Giants have tormented divisional foes in the season's early going. They'll look to continue that trend Monday night when they begin a three-game series at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the only NL West opponent they've yet to play.
The Giants (12-7) improved to 8-1 against their division with Sunday's 5-0 home win over San Diego to cap a three-game sweep after being swept by Milwaukee.San Francisco took advantage of the heavy schedule against NL West opponents last year, going 45-27 on the way to a World Series title. Arizona was the only division rival to go .500 or better against the Giants, with the two teams splitting 18 meetings."You need to play good baseball against your division," manager Bruce Bochy told the team's official website. "That's who you play more than anyone else."The Giants' starting rotation was locked in against the Padres, with Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito combining to allow two runs over 19 2/3 innings. Zito's seven innings sealed the sweep on Sunday, paving the way for Ryan Vogelsong's start Monday.Vogelsong (1-1, 5.89 ERA) hasn't been stellar but is coming off his best effort of the season as he gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings in a 4-3 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday."I felt a lot better, but still not perfect," he said.Vogelsong allowed 13 runs over 6 2/3 innings in his last two starts against the Diamondbacks after posting a 2.05 ERA in his previous four in the series.The Diamondbacks (10-8) snared just their second win in six tries with their 5-4 victory at Colorado on Sunday, ending the Rockies' eight-game winning streak.Continuing to give Arizona's offense a lift was rookie Didi Gregorius, who connected on his second home run and also sparked the decisive rally with a single in the ninth. Gerardo Parra's sacrifice fly ultimately pushed across the go-ahead run.The 23-year-old shortstop started the season on the disabled list because of a sprained right elbow suffered in spring training, but is 6 for 11 in his first three games."He sees the ball well," manager Kirk Gibson said of Gregorius, who Arizona received from Cincinnati in a three-team deal in December. "He has a real good approach with two outs. He's a tough out. He doesn't surprise me. We thought a lot of him obviously."Left-hander Wade Miley (2-0, 2.79) takes the ball looking to continue a strong start to the season.Against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, Miley yielded three runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 loss, but didn't get the decision. He carried a three-run lead into the seventh but was pulled after walking in a run with two outs."He was great," Gibson said. "He just didn't throw the ball where he wanted to when he needed to in the seventh inning."All three of Miley's career starts against the Giants came last year, when he went 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA.San Francisco's offense saw encouraging developments Sunday, with Buster Posey hitting his first home run of the year and Pablo Sandoval in the lineup. Sandoval left in the seventh inning Saturday because of a pitch fouled off his ankle, but was 2 for 4 Sunday and drove in his team-leading 17th run.Posey is 4 of 7 with a homer and double against Miley while Sandoval is just 1 for 9.