Now that their lengthy losing streak is over, the San Francisco Giants hope Madison Bumgarner can get them going in a positive direction.
The left-hander looks to help the Giants salvage a four-game series split by winning consecutive road games for the first time in a month Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.
Struggling to remain relevant in both the NL West and wild-card races, San Francisco (70-66) momentarily stopped the bleeding by ending its seven-game skid with Saturday's 7-3 win at Colorado. It was only the third victory in the Giants' last 17 road contests.
San Francisco last won two straight away from home at Atlanta in early August, but should feel confident as Bumgarner (16-7, 2.96 ERA) tries to become the majors' second 17-game winner.
His string of five straight winning starts ended Tuesday when he allowed two runs, eight hits and struck out eight in seven innings while being outpitched by Zack Greinke in a 2-1 loss at Dodger Stadium.
"I just didn't expect us to be on the losing side of a 2-1 ballgame, but that's the way it goes," said Bumgarner, who posted a 1.43 ERA while winning all five August starts.
He gave up a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado, four other hits and struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings of a 6-3 home victory June 28 in his only start this season against Colorado (56-79). Arenado is a career .217 hitter against Bumgarner, but two of his five hits have left the park.
He's hit nine of his career-high 36 home runs against the Giants - the most in a season against San Francisco since Dale Murphy's 11 in 1983. The All-Star third baseman set a Rockies record by homering in a sixth consecutive game Saturday.
"Just another accomplishment for Nolan in a very young career," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
Looking to become the first major leaguer to do so in seven straight contests since Kevin Mench of Texas from April 21-28, 2006, Arenado has recorded 13 RBIs in the last eight games and is hitting .538 in the previous six.
Teammate Carlos Gonzalez homered five times and had 12 RBIs in the previous three games before going 0 for 3 on Saturday. He's hit .349 in 43 at-bats and has five home runs against Bumgarner.
Yohan Flande (3-1, 4.04) is 2-0 in seven starts this season, but he's completed more than five innings twice in those outings, allowed 10 home runs in the last six and walked 11 in the last three. Making his first start against the Giants, the left-hander gave up four runs and six hits in two innings while facing them at Coors Field on May 23.
Brandon Crawford doubled and tripled in two at-bats against Flande but is 3 for 32 over his last eight games.
With five hits in the last two games, San Francisco rookie Matt Duffy is batting .385 with 10 RBIs in 13 games against the Rockies this season.
The Giants, however, lost catcher Hector Sanchez to a sprained ankle Saturday. Andrew Susac, another backup catcher, had already returned to San Francisco to have his sprained left wrist examined.
It's also likely outfielder Nori Aoki (concussion) misses a third straight game while Brandon Belt (illness) could sit for the third time in the series.