San Francisco has won six of its last eight games, and the club hasn't lost a series since it dropped a rubber game to Los Angeles on May 9. Since then, the Giants have won or split all five series they've played.
On Saturday, in the third game of a four-game set with the Marlins, Madison Bumgarner will get the start, attempting to find some of the good mojo he had earlier in the season.
Bumgarner went 5-1 in his first six starts, including a five-game winning streak that saw him allow just six runs over 35 innings. Since, he's gone 0-2 in his last three outings, but the record is somewhat deceiving. Though he did allow four runs in each of his losses, the Giants' offense supplied only one run of offense in both starts.
Bumgarner had one of his season's more dominating performances last time out against the Brewers. He surrendered just one earned run over 7 2/3 innings and struck out 10 batters.
Miami has had a strong month of May, which began with a seven-game winning streak. Unlike San Francisco, though, the Marlins have been able to close in on division leaders Washington and Atlanta. They are just 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals and just a half-game behind the Braves.
Opposing Bumgarner will be left-hander Mark Buehrle. The former White Sox All-Star's month has gone the way of his club. He's 3-0 in four May starts with a 3.38 ERA. He has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts, but offensive support has delivered him back-to-back wins for the first time this season. In fact, the Miami offense has given Buehrle an average of more than six runs per start this month.
Giants: Melky mashes
Outfielder Melky Cabrera is one of the National League's best hitters. He leads the Majors in hits, and his .363 batting average ranks third in the NL, trailing only the Mets' David Wright and Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz.
Cabrera has also feasted off Buehrle over his career. In 27 plate appearances against the lefty, Cabrera has 17 hits, good for a .630 batting average. That includes four doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.
Giants pitchers have allowed just 32 home runs this season. Entering play Saturday, the staff had the third-lowest total in the Major Leagues, trailing just Miami and Washington.
Marlins: Miami heat
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been on fire of late. In his last 15 games, Stanton is batting .345 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. The five dingers include one that broke a scoreboard and another that found its way to the second deck in the outfield. Stanton entered play Friday with 10 home runs on the season and was tied with five others for fourth in the National League. He added another blast on Friday.
Manager Ozzie Guillen bumped up Stanton from the five-hole to the cleanup spot for Friday's game after seeing an improvement in his confidence.
"I think right now, he's starting to get better about seeing the strike zone," Guillen said. "He's going to strike out. That's part of his game. I think confidence is the thing he's built this month. I think more games there will build his confidence."
Stanton should be in for more success Saturday. He's 4-for-6 in his career against Bumgarner, with three doubles and three RBIs.
May has been good to Omar Infante too. He's batting .354 with four three-hit games and two four-hit games this month.
Cabrera isn't the only Giants player with multiple home runs against Buehrle. Aubrey Huff isn't hitting quite as high as Cabrera vs. the lefty, but he has connected on two career home runs against him.
Entering play Friday, no National League pitcher had thrown multiple complete games. In fact, Giants and Marlins starters have accounted for a third of the complete games thrown by NL hurlers this season. Buehrle, Carlos Zambrano, Barry Zito and Matt Cain have each thrown one.