(Sports Network) - Playing against division opponents hasn't helped much for the San Francisco Giants and their quest for a playoff berth. Tonight they'll continue their tour through the familiar National League West with the first of three straight games versus the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.
The Giants are in the midst of 19 straight games against NL West foes and salvaged the finale of a three-game series versus Arizona with Sunday's 9-7 triumph. Jose Guillen hit a two-run single and Cody Ross lifted a sacrifice fly during a decisive three-run bottom of the seventh inning for San Francisco, which is 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the wild card race.
Freddy Sanchez had three hits and two RBI, and Andres Torres ended 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a pair of runs scored. Matt Cain started for the Giants and allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings for the no-decision, while Jeremy Affeldt picked up the win in relief and Brian Wilson pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for his 36th save.
"It was hard fought, we had our hands full in this series," said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy. "The last thing we wanted to do was get swept here and our guys fought hard to keep that from happening."
San Francisco is five games off San Diego's pace for a division title and owns a 21-26 mark against the NL West this season. It will also take on the Dodgers twice, Arizona and the Padres over the next few weeks. In other news, catcher Buster Posey missed his second straight game with an arm injury and could possibly return Monday. He is hitting .329 with 10 homers and 49 RBI.
Taking the mound for Bochy's club tonight will be Jonathan Sanchez. He is 2-2 in his last four decisions, but did not factor into the outcome of last Tuesday's 16-5 win over Cincinnati, as he yielded five runs over 4 1/3 innings. Sanchez is 9-8 in 27 games (26 starts) this season with a modest 3.67 earned run average.
The lefty beat Colorado on August 3 by hurling six shutout innings in a 10-0 blowout at Coors Field. He is 3-4 in 17 career matchups, 10 of which have been starts, with the Rockies.
Colorado is trying to make a run at a postseason spot and sits 4 1/2 games out of the final playoff berth in the National League. It won the last two tests of a three-game series with the Dodgers and recorded a 10-5 win Sunday in the series finale thanks to a five-run fourth inning.
Starting pitcher Jason Hammel hit an RBI single, Dexter Fowler plated two runners with a triple and MVP candidate Carlos Gonzalez cracked a two-run homer to cap the scoring in the fifth for the Rockies, winners in six of their last seven games. They have scored 27 runs in the past three wins.
"Hopefully I can get better and keep putting pressure on the pitchers," said Gonzalez, who ended with three hits and four RBI. "Stealing bases and creating situations for the hitters behind me will help us score runs."
Fowler ended with three runs batted in, while Hammel was credited with the win for holding Los Angeles to two runs on seven hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out seven batters.
Getting the nod for the Rockies tonight will be Jorge De La Rosa. The left- hander brings an unblemished mark against San Francisco into this evening's tilt, as he is 6-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 career games (7 starts). De La Rosa is coming off last Tuesday's 5-2 win over Atlanta and threw seven innings of two-run ball to improve to 5-4 with a 4.54 ERA in 13 starts this season.
De La Rosa will try to even his road mark which stands at 1-2 in five trips to the visiting mound.
The Rockies have won seven of 12 meetings with San Francisco this season.