July 21, 2016

NEW YORK -- Finally after a week of questions about what's wrong with the San Francisco Giants, they have a win.

The Giants needed four hours and 25 minutes to snap their season-high six-game losing streak and they will look to get another win and do so in less time Sunday afternoon when their three-game series with the New York Yankees concludes.

"I liked the way we've been fighting," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The only thing you do in this game is create opportunities, get guys on and be in a good situation. We've been doing that."

Those were Bochy's comments after the streak ended with Saturday's 2-1 victory after right fielder Mac Williamson's single with one out in the 12th inning.

Williamson's hit was the Giants only one in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position. During the last seven games, San Francisco has eight hits in 64 at-bats in those situations.

"It's a huge win for us," reliever Hunter Strickland said. "We've been battling. We just came up short the last few games."

Had the Giants continued their skid, besides answering questions about their struggles, they would have been associated with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in a dubious way. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 1991 Dodgers are the only team to enter the break with the best record in baseball and lose their first seven games.

While San Francisco waited for the big hit, it received effective starting pitching in New York. After Madison Bumgarner allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings on Friday and Johnny Cueto allowed one run and six hits in six innings on Saturday, it will be Jeff Samardzija's turn.

Samardzija was listed as Saturday's starter, but Bochy said it was a miscommunication. Samardzija was to go Sunday as the team intended all along and he will look to end some of his struggles since the start of June.

Through May 31, Samardzija was 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA in his first 11 starts. Since then, he is 2-2 with a 6.02 ERA in his last eight outings.

The All-Star was unable to turn it around during last Saturday's 7-6 loss in San Diego when he allowed five runs (four earned) and five hits in five innings while getting a no-decision in a game decided on a passed ball.

Samardzija has limited experience facing the Yankees, going 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in three appearances. Last year, he faced New York while pitching for the Chicago White Sox and allowed nine earned runs in 4 2/3 innings on Aug. 2.

The Yankees are 5-4 during their 10-game homestand and have won eight of their last 13 games against teams who have been in first place (Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore and San Francisco). Each loss pushes the conversation toward selling at the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.

"It's not in our hands," Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran said. "We have to go out and perform, but the organization's going to make whatever decision they're going to make. So you can't worry about that."

While New York's hitting has faltered after scoring five runs in the last three games, the pitching has not. The Yankees have allowed 11 earned runs in the last seven games after Ivan Nova gave up one run in seven innings.

"It hurts, because we had opportunities to score some runs and we weren't able to do it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "To lose a game 2-1 in 12 innings is really difficult. But we've got to bounce back and find a way to win tomorrow."

On Sunday, Nathan Eovaldi will be tasked with pitching the Yankees to a winning homestand. Eovaldi returned from three scoreless relief appearances and ended a six-start winless skid by allowing one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings during Tuesday's 7-1 win over Baltimore.

Before Tuesday, Eovaldi had been 0-4 with a 9.20 ERA in his last six starts.

Eovaldi is 1-4 with a 13.30 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. He last faced San Francisco July 18, 2014 at Miami and allowed eight runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.

The Yankees will likely attempt to get a win with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman possibly unavailable. They have thrown a combined 132 pitches.

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