San Francisco Giants right-hander Logan Webb needs three strikeouts to establish a new personal best when he opens a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
The series is a rematch of a four-game Giants sweep in Colorado last week, one that included a gem by Webb(14-9, 2.93 ERA), who shut out the Rockies (65-88) on one hit over 5 1/3 innings in a 6-1 win on Wednesday.
Rockies righty German Marquez (8-12, 5.15) will take another shot at Webb and the Giants (75-78) after absorbing the loss in last week's head-to-head, allowing three earned runs and nine hits in five innings.
The sweep gave the Giants 11 wins against the Rockies this year and assured San Francisco of a second consecutive season-series win over its National League West rival. The Giants dominated Colorado to the tune of 15-4 in 2021.
The defending NL West champs completed a 6-1 road trip by taking two of three in Arizona, and now return home for three more apiece against the same two foes.
San Francisco enters the final nine games a combination of two losses and/or two Philadelphia Phillies wins from elimination in the NL wild-card race.
"We would need a miracle to make the playoffs at this point," Giants third baseman Evan Longoria said. "But our message has been pretty consistent in this last month -- just trying to continue to play hard, find your why, continue to play for something. Obviously, winning is better than losing.
"It's easy to kind of roll out there and give up these last two weeks when we're pretty much out of it. But you don't see that. Guys are still playing hard. There's a lot to play for for a lot of guys."
Several Giants hitters are finishing with a flourish, led by Longoria, who has gone 5-for-his-last-12 with four RBIs, and Mike Yastrzemski, who has three homers in his last six games.
Austin Wynns (.462 batting average), J.D. Davis (.400), Joc Pederson (.375), Luis Gonzalez (.357), Wilmer Flores (.316) and Thairo Estrada (.300) also hit well on the trip.
Webb will take the mound with 156 strikeouts, two shy of the career high he posted last season. He's 5-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) in his career against the Rockies.
Colorado has lost six of seven, with the win coming on Alan Trejo's walk-off single in the 10th against the San Diego Padres on Friday. The playoff-contending Padres rebounded to secure 9-3 and 13-6 wins at Colorado over the weekend.
Kris Bryant, who left the Giants in free agency in March to join the Rockies, announced over the weekend that his season is over due to plantar fasciitis. He hit .306 with five home runs in 42 games for the Rockies after helping San Francisco win the NL West last season as a trade-deadline acquisition.
He admitted the decision to opt for a platelet-rich plasma injection over a cortisone shot was made in part due to the Rockies' last-place standing.
"If we were in the playoff hunt, I probably would have pushed through and got a cortisone shot," he said. "The PRP is more healing, while cortisone masks the pain."
Marquez will make his third start of the season against the Giants, having pitched a 5-3 road win in June. He's 5-9 with a 6.89 ERA in 16 career starts against San Francisco.
--Field Level Media