(Sports Network) - San Francisco starter Barry Zito is still searching for his first road victory of the season. Coors Field figures to be as good a place as any for that to happen and the veteran southpaw takes the hill on Friday for the Giants' opener of a three-game series versus the Colorado Rockies.
Zito is 4-5 with a 4.40 earned run average in 15 starts this season, three of those versus the Rockies, but has struggled mightily on the road. In five outings away from San Francisco, Zito is 0-4 with an 11.28 ERA.
That includes a loss in his only previous trip to Denver this season. In a May 19 start, Zito was hammered for five runs on 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings. It snapped his six-decision winning streak over Colorado as he suffered his first defeat against the club since Sept. 25, 2008.
Zito is still 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 23 career meetings with the Rockies, all but two of those starts, and is 3-2 with a solid 3.70 ERA in 10 games at Coors Field.
The 35-year-old gave up 12 runs over a pair of losses to begin the month, but has yielded only three runs, 12 hits and five walks over 12 2/3 combined innings of consecutive no-decisions since.
Zito will try to get the Giants road trip on track, a 10-game swing that began with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Francisco was bested 4-2 in Wednesday's finale, the club's fourth straight loss and ninth in its last 12.
Buster Posey hit a two-run homer, but Tim Lincecum yielded four runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings of work.
"The sixth inning has been a problem for us. Tim's stuff was good, he threw the ball well, but we shot ourselves in the foot. We had a chance in the ninth, but their guy did a good job on us," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
The Giants hope to have a chance tonight against red-hot Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin, who has put early-season back troubles behind him and eyes a fourth straight winning start.
The right-hander has yielded just four runs over his winning streak, which includes a 7-1 triumph at Washington on Saturday. Chacin logged seven scoreless innings of five-hit ball, moving to 6-3 on the season with a 4.92 ERA in 14 starts.
"Another great outing by Jhoulys. He was really in control of the game," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "A good-looking performance."
Despite having made nine starts this season at hitter-friendly Coors Field, Chacin has given up just two homers in 87 1/3 innings.
The 25-year-old did lose to the Giants at home on May 16 as he was drilled for eight runs over 5 1/3 innings. Chacin is 3-5 against the club lifetime with a 4.50 ERA in 11 meetings (10 starts).
Colorado looks to avoid a fourth loss in a row after dropping Thursday's make- up game with the New York Mets 3-2.
Michael Cuddyer got the night started off right with a single to leadoff the second inning. The base-hit extended his hitting streak to a franchise-record 24 straight games, surpassing Dante Bichette's original mark set from May 22- June 18, 1995.
Cuddyer scored the first of two runs for Colorado that inning, but the Mets went ahead on a two-run homer by Marlon Byrd in the eighth inning off Matt Belisle.
It spoiled Cuddyer's 3-for-4 effort and he is hitting .390 with five homers and 16 RBI over his hitting streak.
"Any time you can put your name in the record books, it's a good thing," said Cuddyer. "I'd trade it for a win though."
Colorado has lost eight of its past 10.
The Giants have won six of 10 versus the Rockies this season and have gone 33-13 in this series since the start of the 2011 campaign. San Francisco has won 14 of 22 in Colorado over that time.