Rockies-Giants Preview

San Francisco took a gamble by giving Jeff Samardzija a long-term contract in the offseason after he mostly disappointed in 2015.

So far it seems like a wise investment.

Samardzija looks to keep rolling while helping the Giants win the final three of a four-game series with the visiting Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Samardzija (4-1, 3.32 ERA) struggled last season with the Chicago White Sox, posting a 4.96 ERA in 32 starts. San Francisco (17-15) was in desperate need of bolstering its starting staff, though, and gave him a five-year, $90 million contract.

The right-hander has lived up to it at this point. He's won three straight starts for the first time in his career and had his best of the season Tuesday, allowing one run and three hits with nine strikeouts in eight innings of a 3-1 win over Cincinnati.

His competitive nature showed through when he risked injury by snapping his bat over his leg after striking out with two runners on in the eighth.

"It's stupid," said Samardzija, who is a career .137 hitter.

Samardzija was brilliant against the Rockies on April 12, going eight innings in a 2-0 victory. He's 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four career starts against them, and Carlos Gonzalez is just 3 for 16 in their matchups.

Eddie Butler will get the ball for Colorado (14-16) in his second start since being recalled from the minors April 27. Butler (0-1, 6.75) allowed only four hits in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to San Diego, but two left the ballpark and he finished with five runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings.

"I felt good, kind of came out with a game plan and we really executed early, we ended up getting through the lineup clean and tried to continue it," said Butler, who retired the first 11 batters he faced. "We had an opportunity to get the team on the right track and end up going out like that."

The right-hander won both of his starts with a 3.18 ERA against the Giants last season, and he'll try to help the Rockies avoid a fifth loss in seven tries in this one.

Colorado took the lead Saturday in the 10th on Tony Wolters' RBI double following nine scoreless innings, but San Francisco tied it in the bottom half when Brandon Crawford singled in Brandon Belt.

The Giants won it in the 13th on Matt Duffy's RBI double, giving them a fifth victory in seven tries.

"It can be pretty demoralizing if you spend that much time, that much focus, that much energy and that much of your bullpen and then you come out with a loss," Duffy said. "That makes it all worth it when you get something out of it."

The Rockies have scored five runs over the last two games after winning Thursday's series opener 17-7.

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