Samardzija looks to contain D-backs

Samardzija looks to contain D-backs

D-backs lefty Robbie Ray will test his four-game winning streak Friday when Arizona opens a three-game set against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Ray, who owns a 1.33 ERA over his last five starts, will go against Giants starter Jeff Samardzija. The righty owns a 4.47 ERA with a 9-13 record and is making his 30th start of the season Friday. The home run ball haunted Samardzija in his last outing against the White Sox. He allowed six runs on four homers, matching his career high.

Ray has played a key role in the D-backs' recent surge, which has them four games ahead of the Rockies for the first National League Wild Card berth. In four starts since returning from the disabled list, Ray has allowed four runs in 25 1/3 innings. Opponents are slashing .148/.216/.239 against him during the period.

Statcast backs up Ray's recent tear; he is among the Majors' elite in keeping hitters off balance with his offerings. He ranks first with a 19.7 percent swinging-strike rate among starting pitchers since Aug. 24.

Things to know about this game

• Before Samardzija allowed six runs in Chicago, he strung together three strong starts, posting a 0.82 ERA. The span also included a shutout against the Padres.

• Ray has a 2.19 ERA in two starts against the Giants this season. Catcher Nick Hundley is the only current Giants player to homer off Ray in his career.

• D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb is 6-for-13 lifetime against Samardzija with a home run and six RBIs.

• Arizona leads the season series against the Giants, 8-5.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.