Giants Go For Second Straight Win In The Desert

(Sports Network) - Trading catcher Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers could be the best move the San Francisco Giants make all season. Buster Posey is certainly on board with the decision and has been proving it ever since.

Posey and the Giants will resume a four-game series tonight against the National League West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The young backstop is having a hot month and is currently riding a 16-game hitting streak. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Thursday's 3-0 win and is batting .438 in July with seven homers and 21 runs batted in.

His hitting streak is the third longest by a rookie in team history. Orlando Cepeda hit in 17 straight games back in 1958, while Willie McCovey leads the way with a 22-gamer during the 1959 campaign.

Andres Torres homered and Aaron Rowand had an RBI for the wild card-leading Giants, who have won 12 of their last 15 games and pulled within three games of San Diego for the top spot in the NL West standings. Matt Cain was able to make that happen and evened his 2010 mark at 8-8 with eight shutout innings and nine strikeouts. Brian Wilson then recorded his 27th save in the ninth.

"What a game he pitched," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. "He had everything going tonight, locating his fastball in and out, breaking balls he threw for strikes. Their guy was pitching well too. You don't see too many games like that here. What a job he did for us."

Jonathan Sanchez has a tough act to follow when he takes the hill for the Giants Friday night in the desert. Sanchez has won five of his last seven decisions and hasn't factored in the outcome in each of his last two starts. In Sunday's 4-3 home loss to the New York Mets, Sanchez was sharp with seven innings of two-run ball and five strikeouts.

Sanchez remained at 7-6 in 19 starts to go along with a 3.42 earned run average. The left-hander hopes to even his 2-3 road record tonight and beat the Diamondbacks for a second time this season. In a 12-1 drubbing of Arizona on May 29 at AT&T Park, Sanchez pitched five innings of one-run ball and struck out seven batters to improve to 5-6 in 16 career meetings (13 starts) with the D'Backs.

Arizona entered this series fresh off a three-game sweep of the New York Mets and lost for the fifth time in eight tries on Thursday. Rodrigo Lopez had a decent outing go to waste, as he allowed all three runs on five hits over seven innings. Lopez also fanned seven batters.

"I was trying to go deep in the game since we don't have many pitcher available tonight," Lopez said. "It wasn't enough to defeat the Giants."

Chris Young, Justin Upton and Cole Gillespie provided the hits for the Diamondbacks, who are last in the NL West at 19 games off the pace. Upton has hit safely in a season-high eight straight games with six doubles, one triple, two homers and an eight RBI over that span.

Edwin Jackson looks to avoid losing his third straight start when he takes the mound for the 20th time tonight for Arizona. Jackson has lost back-to-back starts since a personal three-game winning streak, which included a no-hitter on June 25 at Tampa Bay, and previously pitched in Sunday's 6-4 loss at San Diego. He gave up four runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings with seven K's, falling to 6-8 in 19 trips to the hill.

Jackson, a right-hander, has allowed at least four runs in each of his last three outings and will try to even his 3-4 home mark. He will face the Giants for the first time since losing to them back on May 28, when he yielded three runs in seven innings of his team's 5-0 loss. Jackson is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three career games (2 starts) against San Francisco.

San Francisco leads the 2010 season series with Arizona by a 4-2 margin, but is 17-7 over the past 24 meetings between the two ballclubs.

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