Morris looks to again be Giants' stopper

Morris looks to again be Giants' stopper

The Giants will attempt to salvage a depressing 0-2 home opener series in their final game against the Padres after losing 7-0 on Tuesday and 5-3 on Wednesday.

The Giants will look to seasoned veteran Matt Morris to once again halt an opening series slide. Last year, in their opening series against the Padres, it was Morris who earned the first win for the Giants after San Francisco lost 6-1 on Opening Day.

Morris holds a 3.07 ERA against San Diego and the 10-year Major League pitcher is no stranger to pressure. Morris wasn't showing any signs of season-starting jitters as he calmly said he's looking forward to getting started.

If Morris delivers Thursday, the only question will be in the Giants bullpen, which allowed a combined two runs and three hits, including one home run off Jack Taschner, on Wednesday.

"He'll learn from it," manager Bruce Bochy said of the home run hit off Taschner. "He's been throwing well, he just let that one pitch get away from him."

Thursday will be the Giants' last chance to log a win before their Southern California rivals, the Dodgers, roll into town.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Matt Morris (10-15, 4.98 ERA in 2006)
The Giants' seasoned right-hander takes the mound for the start of hopefully a better season after last year. Morris is 6-3 against San Diego with a 3.07 ERA.

SD: RHP Clay Hensley (11-12, 3.71 ERA in 2006)
In his three appearances against the Giants last season, Hensley posted a 1.32 ERA and went 0-1. Hensley could add a win to that impressive ERA by unleashing an improved changeup that the right-hander fine-tuned during Spring Training with some help from teammate Greg Maddux.

Player to watch
Barry Bonds went 0-for-6 against Hensley last season, but the San Francisco slugger is looking better than ever this season, especially when he smacked a center-field homer Wednesday. Bonds is always a player to watch, but it will be interesting to see how quickly he can chop away at Hank Aaron's record.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KNBR 680 AM, KLOK 1170 AM (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Dodgers (Brad Penny, 16-9, 4.33 in 2006) at Giants (Noah Lowry, 7-10, 4.74 in 2006), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 0-1, 13.50) at Giants (Russ Ortiz, 0-8, 8.14 in 2006), 12:55 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Dodgers (Randy Wolf, 0-1, 6.00) at Giants (Barry Zito, 0-1, 3.60), 1:05 p.m. PT

Becky Regan is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.