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WSH@SF: Vogelsong fans six over six innings

Baseball stadiums not named AT&T Park haven't been kind to Ryan Vogelsong this season.

The Giants righty is 2-2 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts on the shores of McCovey Cove, but has compiled a 2-1 record with a 4.88 ERA in six starts on the road. The 36-year-old will look to make himself at home Saturday at Chase Field.

Losers of six consecutive games and nine of their last 10, the Giants certainly hope for that to be the case; having Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" applicable to a team's performance is never a good thing.

That's been the case with this June swoon, though, and the Dodgers have drastically narrowed the gap in the National League West -- what was a 9 1/2 game lead for the Giants on June 8 is now just a four-game advantage.

Vogelsong gets the next chance at halting the slide, but he'll likely have to pitch better than he has of late. After his May 24 start against the Twins, his ERA sat at 3.20. In four starts since, it's jumped to 3.94 as he's been tagged for 15 earned runs in 23 2/3 innings in that span. In his only start against the D-backs this season, Vogelsong was tagged for four earned runs on seven hits in five innings in the Giants' 6-5 loss on April 10.

He'll be opposed on the mound by Brandon McCarthy. After two successful seasons with the A's, McCarthy struggled last year, his first with the D-backs. His effectiveness has nosedived this season; his ERA currently sits at 5.18 and he's just 1-9.

He excelled in his last outing, though, surrendering three earned runs on seven hits in seven innings against the Brewers on Monday. The right-hander was knocked around to the tune of five runs on six hits in 6 2/3 inning on Opening Day, March 31, vs. the Giants.

Giants: Bochy hopeful for Pagan to return
Angel Pagan arrived in Phoenix before the rest of his teammates, and he is looking to be back in the Giants' lineup before they leave.

Pagan was out of the lineup Friday for the fourth straight game for the Giants' series opener against the D-backs at Chase Field, but manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan could play Saturday.

"He'll take some fly balls, he's going to take some [batting practice]," Bochy said before Friday's game. "Then we'll see where he's at. If all's good, then there's a good chance he'll play tomorrow."

Pagan has been dealing with lower back stiffness, and being out of the lineup has hurt the Giants.

Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez have been playing in Pagan's place and have hit .185 (5-for-27) in the four games Pagan has been out.

"Life was tough without him last year," Bochy said. "We're struggling a little bit right now, but that's going to happen."

D-backs: Owings on the rise
The D-backs selected Chris Owings in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. That investment is starting to provide a pretty good return.

Owings has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, raising his batting average to .282 from .270 in the process. He's been rewarded with more consistent playing time; he's started five consecutive games after not starting back-to-back games against the Dodgers last weekend.

Only Paul Goldschmidt (.312) and David Peralta (.314) have higher averages among Arizona regulars than Owings.

Worth noting
• The Giants have lost six consecutive games. Prior to this skid, they hadn't lost more than three consecutive games.

• One reason for the suddenly narrow gap between the Giants and Dodgers? The D-backs' performances against both. Arizona is 4-4 this season against the Giants, but just 4-10 against the Dodgers.

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