SAN DIEGO -- Sergio Romo gave himself a hard act to follow with his remarkable 2011 performance. But the Giants right-hander has approached the excellence he sustained a year ago.Romo owns a 4-2 record, a 1.82 ERA and a 0.865 WHIP (average walks and hits per inning) in 68 appearances, matching a career high. Last year, he was 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.708 WHIP in 65 games. He walked only five batters in 48 innings last year, compared to 10 in 53 1/3 innings this year. But while Romo recorded only one save last year, he has converted 13 of 14 save opportunities this season, including his stint in Sunday's 7-5 victory over San Diego. He has displayed increasing effectiveness, allowing just two runs in his last 20 appearances -- a span of 16 2/3 innings -- and issuing zero walks in his last 27 outings (22 1/3 innings). "I'm feeling that I'm competing as well as I can," Romo said. "I've been going out there with the mindset that the team believes in me and needs me to be good."
The Giants have no shot at matching their all-time single-season record of 53 road victories, but their San Francisco-era mark (since 1958) of 46-35, which they recorded in 1964 and '68, is within reach. The Giants took a 44-33 road record into Sunday.
Center fielder Angel Pagan, who has 29 stolen bases, can become the first Giant to steal as many as 30 since Dave Roberts had 31 in 2007. That's the highest total for any Giant since Barry Bonds stole 37 in 1997. Manager Bruce Bochy has started 15 different players in the No. 8 spot, more than any other berth in the batting order. The position where Bochy has started the most players is left field, home to eight different starters (Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco, Melky Cabrera, Justin Christian, Aubrey Huff, Xavier Nady, Francisco Peguero and Brett Pill).
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.