April 05, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (75) pitches the ball against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at AT

Giants, Zito Aim For Series Sweep of Rockies

After storming back from a 6-2 deficit on Tuesday night to eventually prevail 9-6, the Giants will have a wave of momentum on Wednesday as they aim for a series sweep of the Rockies.

San Francisco’s good luck charm in Barry Zito will make his second start of the season. He aims to keep the Giants winning streak with him on the mound, which is currently at 15 games, alive. The last time the Giants lost a Zito start was in August, but the rest has been history.

Zito shut down the Cardinals over seven innings in the Giants home opener on Friday. He only surrendered three hits, issued three walks and struck out four despite not topping 86 miles per hour with his fastball.

If you recall, Zito tossed a complete game shut out of these Rockies in his first start of the 2012 season. It was a shot in the arm, too, as the Giants had just been swept by the Diamondbacks in their first series of the year.

Zito’s win on April 9, 2012 marked his fifth straight win against Colorado in which he was eligible for a decision. What’s more, he hasn’t lost a start against the Rockies since 2008, a span of 11 starts.

Jeff Francis, another lefty, will oppose Zito. Both Francis and Zito have similar styles, using good command and good off-speed pitches to induce outs. Neither has a dominant fastball. Francis didn’t top 87 MPH in his first start of the year against the Padres, in which he played one-run ball over six innings. The southpaw’s arsenal in that game mostly consisted of sinkers (43) and curveballs (26).

In 20 career games against San Francisco, Francis is 7-9 with a 5.38 ERA. He did throw a complete game against the Giants in 2007, but that’s been about it in terms of his success against the Giants. In 10 career starts at AT&T Park, he’s 3-6 with a 5.72 ERA in 61.1 innings.

Angel Pagan, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence all own at least one career home run off Francis.

As a team, the Rockies have a combined slash of .220/.289/.291 against Zito along with two home runs (Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki) and eight doubles.

Tags: Barry Zito Colorado Rockies Jeff Francis San Francisco Giants

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