Kevin Gausman, Giants try to leverage matchup vs. D-backs

MLB Baseball

San Francisco Giants ace Kevin Gausman hopes a second dose of the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks continues to cure his recent ills when the National League West frontrunner opens a nine-game homestand on Tuesday night.

The two-game series is a rematch of a three-game set in Arizona last week, during which Gausman (10-5, 2.31) displayed the first-half form that made him a National League All-Star.

The 30-year-old right-hander limited the Diamondbacks to one run and five hits over six innings in a 7-1 win.

Gausman had gone 1-4 with a 5.16 ERA in his previous six starts.

The Colorado native left the team after the Arizona game to witness the birth of his second daughter. He rejoined the club Sunday in Milwaukee.

Seeking to improve upon a 5-1 record and 2.27 ERA in eight previous meetings (seven starts) with Arizona, Gausman once again will be matched up with Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen (1-6, 4.62).

Gallen, who turned 26 last week, hasn’t earned a win since April 25, but he has allowed four or fewer runs in 12 of his 13 starts this season, including three in 5 2/3 innings in last week’s loss to the Giants.

All three runs he allowed that night came off the bat of Donovan Solano, who had a solo home run and a two-run single.

Gallen already has been beaten three times by the Giants this season — twice in head-to-heads with Gausman — as he’s fallen to 1-4 with a 5.08 ERA in six lifetime starts against the division rival.

The homestand gives Giants fans a chance to welcome back Brandon Belt, who returned from a seven-week stint on the injured list due to right knee inflammation during the team’s trip last week.

The veteran first baseman had hits in all four games in which he played — including the series finale at Arizona last Thursday — and homered in three straight at Milwaukee, helping the Giants win the last two after a series-opening loss.

Belt admitted he enjoyed watching the Giants go 20-14 during his absence, but was itching to get back and become a part of it again.

“It’s been awesome to see whoever they call up step in and take over and do such a great job of helping us win ballgames,” he observed. “But I’m really excited to get back out there again.”

Belt hasn’t had much luck against Gallen, going 1-for-9 with two strikeouts.

While the Giants have won four consecutive series, the Diamondbacks haven’t won one since sweeping three games from the Pittsburgh Pirates in mid-July.

They have taken the opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres in recent three-game series, only to lose the next two.

They packed a two-game losing streak for the trip from San Diego to San Francisco.

Giants fans will get a first look at Diamondbacks rookie third baseman Drew Ellis, who was promoted in the wake of Arizona’s moves at the trade deadline.

The Triple-A standout at Reno has started off just 2-for-22 (.091), but the Diamondbacks plan to take a long look at guys such as Ellis and new second baseman Jake Hager, acquired off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

“We want to see what he can do,” Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said of Ellis, one of the franchise’s top prospects.

Ellis went 0-for-3 with a strikeout facing Gausman last week.

–Field Level Media

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