The offensively challenged San Francisco Giants are back in a virtual tie atop the NL West, though staying there could be difficult with Arizona's Wade Miley set to face them next.
With Marco Scutaro expected to make his first start, the Giants will try to finally provide Ryan Vogelsong with some run support when they face Miley and the last-place Diamondbacks on Saturday.San Francisco (51-42) had averaged 2.1 runs while hitting .196 in 14 games before Pablo Sandoval led Friday's turnaround with a home run, double and three RBIs in a 5-0 series-opening victory."That was nice to see, I'm not going to lie," manager Bruce Bochy said. "To get some early run support, that makes life easier."Now Bochy is hoping Scutaro can provide a spark after he was activated from the disabled list Friday. Scutaro played a pivotal role in the team's 2012 World Series title, but he's been out all season because of a back strain.The 38-year-old infielder has a .301 average over the past three seasons.The Giants have gone 9-21 in their last 30, but managed to move into a virtual tie for first after the Los Angeles Dodgers fell to San Diego.Miley (4-6, 4.43 ERA) is looking to win two straight starts for the first time since April, though he's allowed three runs with 18 strikeouts and one walk over 14 2/3 innings in his last two starts.The left-hander was sharp Sunday, giving up one run while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings of a 3-1 win at Atlanta."That's what we want to see: more consistency out of him," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson told MLB's official website.Miley has gone 1/3 with a 4.04 ERA in six career starts against San Francisco, giving up four runs over seven innings of a 5-4 home win in the most recent one April 1.Brandon Belt went 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBIs against Miley in that contest. The first baseman was 2 for 3 on Friday following a 2-for-25 stretch over his previous eight games.Scutaro is 5 for 14 off Miley, but has gone 5 for 26 in his last nine games against the Diamondbacks (39-55).The Giants will try to help out Vogelsong (5-6, 3.92) after giving him no runs of support over his last three starts -- all losses.The right-hander hasn't fared well against Arizona, going 1-2 with an 8.13 ERA in his last seven starts. He gave up four runs over five innings of a 6-5, 10-inning home defeat April 10 before posting the same line in a 6-4 win at Arizona on June 21.Aaron Hill (11 for 22) and Miguel Montero (8 for 23) have given him the most trouble, though Vogelsong has done a nice job limiting Paul Goldschmidt to five hits -- no home runs -- in 21 at-bats.Goldschmidt went 1 for 3 in the opener, giving him a .457 average during a 10-game hitting streak. He's reached base in 31 straight games, matching his career high.Mark Trumbo had one of the team's five hits Friday after missing 71 games with a broken foot. He was tied for the NL lead with seven home runs and was second with 19 RBIs at the time of the injury."It's good to have him back in the lineup," Gibson said. "It looks like he's moving good."