Ryan Vogelsong is looking to put last season's struggles behind him, but his first start of 2014 only reminded him of the times he's hoping to forget.
He'll look to get on track Thursday night as the San Francisco Giants try to take two of three from the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.Vogelsong went 4-6 with a 5.73 ERA over 19 starts in 2013, also missing three months with a fractured right hand. Those numbers were far from his 27-16 record and 3.05 ERA over the previous two seasons, a form he's hoping to get back this year.The right-hander, though, gave up four runs and seven hits in four innings of the Giants' 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. He didn't allow a run for the first three frames before giving up back-to-back homers to start the fourth.Vogelsong allowed two more runs and didn't record an out before leaving in the fifth."It's the same thing I started getting into last year," he said. "It was a 50-50 start for me -- 50 percent good and 50 percent bad."Vogelsong hasn't had much to boast about in his last five starts against the Diamondbacks, either, going 0-2 with an 8.51 ERA with three of them lasting fewer than five full innings.He'll look to slow down an Arizona lineup that had one of its best performances in Wednesday's 7-3 victory. Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, and Gerardo Parra added a two-run shot and finished 3 for 5 with three runs scored.The Diamondbacks (3-8) dropped three of four to the Giants from March 31-April 3 at home."You just go up there and try to have a good at-bat and try to hit the ball hard," said Goldschmidt, who is hitting .381. "It really doesn't change. Try to have a good at-bat, try to keep it simple."Pitching has been the issue for Arizona, which has a 6.00 team ERA while allowing at least seven runs six times. It will turn to Randall Delgado as he looks to bounce back from a rough first start.Delgado (0-1, 11.57 ERA) pitched two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief in Arizona's 7-5 win over the Dodgers on March 23 in Australia, but he gave up six runs and 10 hits through just four innings of Friday's 12-2 loss to Colorado.The right-hander is 1/3 with a 8.10 ERA over his last five starts dating to last season, pitching fewer than six innings four times."Fastball command is essential to everybody," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Randall couldn't do it. We were trying to get the ball to certain places and we couldn't get it there."Delgado has been stellar in three career starts against the Giants, though, going 1-1 with a 0.96 ERA. He's held San Francisco to a .121 average in those outings.The Giants (6-3) hope to improve on that mark against Delgado, though it went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position Wednesday. Michael Morse and Buster Posey hit solo homers as San Francisco lost for the second time in three games.Angel Pagan stayed hot, going 3 for 5 to raise his average to .462 with his seventh multihit game. He has at least one hit in each contest this season.The Giants had won three of the last four meetings at home against Arizona prior to Wednesday's loss.
Michael Morse's fifth-inning double was calculated at 410 feet. It would have been a home run in every major-league ballpark except AT&T Park.
Brandon Belt is hitting .405 in at-bats ending with a changeup from a righty since the start of 2013, the second-highest average by any player with at least 40 such plate appearances in that time. Randall Delgado has thrown his changeup 31 percent of the time to lefties since the start of 2013, the fifth-highest percentage among all pitchers who have made at least 20 starts over that time.