Giants Need Barry

Barry Bonds expects to return to the lineup Thursday as the San Francisco Giants try to snap a seven-game losing streak in Arizona in the finale of a three-game series with the surging Diamondbacks.

Bonds has not started the last two games because of shin splints, along with sore knees, ankles and feet.

Oddsmakers have made Arizona -110 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8.5un total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 51% of bets for this game have been placed on San Francisco +100 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

The 43-year-old left fielder did walk as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 1-0 loss, but was greeted by a chorus of boos by Arizona fans.

"I feel good, a lot better," he said before Wednesday's game. "Just one more day to get the soreness away, get the soreness out. I've never had it before. It got really swollen really bad. It's gone down. The pain's not as bad. One more day. I don't have a choice, to make sure I don't have any setbacks. I think I should be able to play tomorrow."

Bonds is nine homers shy of Hank Aaron's all-time record of 755, but has homered just once in 61 at-bats since May 8.

"I won't go on the DL," Bonds said. "Don't count on seeing me on the DL - ever. I won't let myself. I will work hard. I will play through it."

The Giants have won just three of their last 12 games, and a series at Chase Field hasn't helped. San Francisco has not won in Arizona since Aug. 7 of last season, and has dropped all five of its games there this season.

Now 27-31, the Giants have fallen into last place in the NL West - eight games behind co-leaders Arizona (36-24) and San Diego.

"Just keep playing hard, that's all we can do," second baseman Ray Durham said. "This has to turn around some time. We're doing the little things: moving runners, not killing ourselves on defense, pitching well. There's still a lot of baseball to be played. We don't feel we're out of it already. There's more than enough time to get back in this thing."

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, have won three straight games as 11 of 12 games. Chris Young homered to break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning Wednesday, one night after hitting a walk-off shot in the 10th.

Onetime Giants starter Livan Hernandez (5-3, 3.65 ERA) will try to lead the Diamondbacks to the series sweep. The right-hander pitched for San Francisco from midway through the 1999 season until the end of 2002, going 45-45. He is 3-4 with a 2.71 ERA in nine career starts against his former team.

On Saturday, Hernandez allowed three runs in six innings of a 7-1 road loss to the New York Mets. However, he is 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in five home starts this season.

San Francisco counters with Noah Lowry (5-5, 3.28), who is just 1-4 on the road this season, but is 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA In eight career appearances, including seven starts, versus the Diamondbacks.

The left-hander allowed four runs in seven innings of Saturday's 5-2 loss at Philadelphia - the second consecutive outing he yielded four runs.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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