San Francisco has won four straight and 14 of its last 17 to move within three games of the San Diego Padres in the National League West while claiming the Wild Card lead, 1 1/2 games in front of Cincinnati.
Rookie Buster Posey has been the fuel behind the Giants' recent surge, as he enters tonight's tilt riding an 18-game hitting streak, the second-longest in team history behind Willie McCovey's 22-gamer.
Posey continued to roll on Sunday, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the Giants' 3-2, 10-inning win over Arizona to complete a four-game sweep. He also needs one more RBI to move past Jim Ray Hart, who set a team rookie record with 24 RBI in one month in 1964.
"I'm seeing the ball well. That's my approach, try to see the ball and get the barrel on it. Keep it simple," a humble Posey said.
San Francisco may be able to keep rolling tonight, as scheduled starter Barry Zito is a perfect 5-0 lifetime against the Marlins. He beat them earlier in the year by allowing one run in seven innings and has pitched to a 2.15 earned run average in his six starts against Florida.
Zito, who is 8-5 with a 3.45 ERA, suffered a hard-luck loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, as he allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings of the 2-0 setback.
Florida, meanwhile, sliced into Atlanta's lead in the National League East this weekend by taking two of three from the Braves and has won seven of its last nine to get back to .500. In Sunday's rubber match, Wes Helms hit a run- scoring single in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting the Marlins to a 5-4 win.
Helms ended with two hits, three RBI, and a run scored for the Marlins, who have not been over .500 since they were 28-27 on June 3.
Chris Volstad, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans prior to the game, lasted six frames for Florida in the start, allowing three runs on five hits. Jorge Sosa (2-2) pitched a scoreless two innings of relief to record the win.
Getting the call for the Marlins tonight will be righty Ricky Nolasco, who is 10-7 with a 4.50 ERA. Nolasco improved to 5-1 over his last six starts with a win over Colorado on Wednesday. He gave up two runs and four hits in eight innings of that one, as he moved past A.J. Burnett for second all-time in franchise history with 50 wins.
Nolasco is just 1-2 in three starts against the Giants, despite a 2.05 ERA.
San Francisco swept a three-game set from the Marlins earlier in the year and has won five of the last six meetings in the series.
4 game series vs Marlins @ AT&amp;T Park
|Tue 07/27 - Josh Johnson vs. Matt Cain
|7:15 PM PDT
|Wed 07/28 - Alex Sanabia vs. Jonathan Sanchez
|4:05 PM PDT
|Thu 07/29 - Anibal Sanchez vs. Madison Bumgarner
|12:45 PM PDT