One hot pitcher and one who hopes he's heating up go head-to-head Wednesday night when the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants continue their three-game series.
The Giants outlasted the Rockies in a pitchers' duel in the opener Tuesday night, with a bases-loaded walk plating the winning run in the eighth, one inning after starters Derek Holland and Chad Bettis had exited a 1-1 game.
San Francisco, seeking a fourth straight win, will send Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 3.20 ERA) to the mound Wednesday.
The four-time All-Star recorded his first win of the season in his last start, rewarded for pitching eight shutout innings against the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
Bumgarner has made 26 career starts against the Rockies, going 12-7 with a 3.05 ERA.
He will be seeking to continue a stretch of brilliant pitching by the Giants, who have given up three or fewer runs in nine of their last 12 games.
The starting staff has performed so well, Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted he's not sure what the team's going to do when injured rotation regulars Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are deemed healthy enough to return.
That day is expected soon, especially with Samardzija, who has already made three injury-rehab appearances in the minors.
"I think you look at the way the rotation has been throwing the ball, it's not going to be easy," Bochy said of who, if anybody, gets displaced. "But we knew this would be coming when Jeff's ready and Johnny's ready."
A matchup with the Rockies means Bumgarner will have to deal with hot-hitting Nolan Arenado, but it's been Carlos Gonzalez who has given the Giants' lefty the most trouble over the years.
Gonzalez has five career homers against Bumgarner, the most anybody's hit against the San Francisco ace.
Arenado has two career homers against Bumgarner.
The Giants not only will have to deal with Gonzalez and Arenado, but also with impressive Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (7-6, 3.55), who already has beaten San Francisco twice this season.
Facing the Giants twice in a 12-day stretch in May, Freeland allowed them four runs and 13 hits in 12 innings in 6-1 and 11-4 wins.
The 25-year-old has gone 2-1 in June after a 4-1 May that included the two wins over the Giants.
Freeland has started six times in his career against the Giants, going 4-2 with a 3.15 ERA.
He's 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in two career starts in San Francisco.
Freeland can expect to see Hunter Pence in the Giants' lineup Wednesday.
Pence has been relegated to part-time duties when not injured this season, but has come through big-time in his last two starts and has a history against Freeland.
Pence collected two hits and two RBIs in a 6-5 win over Miami last Wednesday, then had a double and two more RBIs in a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Pence has faced Freeland eight times in his career, going 4-for-7 with a walk.