(Sports Network) - Jeff Samardzija can avoid a sweep and end a prolonged road
skid today when the Chicago Cubs close out a four-game series with the San
Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
The Cubs dropped a 2-0 decision to the Giants in Sunday's third game to come
within a game of getting swept while also seeing their road losing streak
extended to 10 games.
Chicago has not won in an opponent's ballpark since defeating St. Louis, 6-4,
on May 14.
An 8 1/3-inning effort from former American League Cy Young winner Barry Zito
made it three straight for the Giants on Sunday.
Zito (5-2) allowed four hits and two walks, striking out five in another good
performance by a Giants starting pitcher. The team won the first two games of
the four-game series behind stellar outings by Madison Bumgarner and Matt
He came out after giving up a one-out walk to Darwin Barney in the ninth
inning. Sergio Romo retired the last two batters to lock down his second save
and San Francisco's sixth win in seven games.
Bumgarner took a shutout into the ninth inning in Friday's 4-3 win and Cain
went eight-plus innings in Saturday's 2-1 victory.
"It inspires each of us to go out there and do it the next day," Zito said.
Chicago starter Travis Wood, meanwhile, was an unlucky loser.
Wood (0-2) was perfect through three innings and didn't surrender a hit until
the fifth, when the Giants scored their first run. The 25-year-old lefty went
seven innings, giving up just three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Both teams had four hits.
"Zito's had his issues in the past, but that doesn't look like the same guy,"
Cubs catcher Koyie Hill said. "He's keeping the ball down and was competitive
with all his pitches and it makes it tough on us, especially in a ballpark
where it's not very hitter-friendly to begin with."
Samardzija is 2-2 in five road starts this season with a 4.61 earned
run average across 27 1/3 innings.
He last won away from home on May 2, when he tossed 7 2/3 innings of one-run
ball in a 3-1 victory at Cincinnati.
In five overall starts since he's won twice and lost twice, including trips to
Milwaukee and Houston in which he's combined to allow nine hits and three runs
in 11 innings.
Samardzija has a 1.59 ERA in five career relief outings against San Francisco.
For the Giants, 34-year-old Ryan Vogelsong makes his 10th start of 2012 and
160th career major-league appearance.
The North Carolina native had just 10 big-league wins before breaking out last
season with 13 wins in 20 decisions across 30 appearances for San Francisco.
He began this season with similar effectiveness, holding opponents to a .222
batting average while allowing just 16 earned runs in his initial 61 innings
Vogelsong is unbeaten on five starts since losing a 3-2 decision to Miami on
May 3. He's won three decisions and pitched at least seven innings four times
- including a one-run, six-hit effort against Arizona in his last start on May
In 14 lifetime meetings with the Cubs, he is 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA.
The Cubs won five of nine versus the Giants a season ago, winning the only
series played in San Francisco.
The Sports Network