SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Zito wants to work on his timing, and that will be his focus while preparing for one last regular-season start.
Where he might fit into San Francisco's four-man playoff rotation, the left-hander figures that will take care of itself. No doubt, he has done his part to play a role in the postseason this time around.
Midseason acquisitions Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro each hit two-run homers in the second inning to back another solid day by Zito, and the NL West champion San Francisco Giants beat Arizona 7-3 Thursday in their regular-season home finale.
Zito (14-8) won his fourth straight start and sixth consecutive decision since a loss Aug. 2. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland has his most wins since joining the Giants on a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season.
Zito was left off the postseason roster for all three rounds during the 2010 World Series championship run. The Giants won for the 10th straight game started by Zito.
"I'll just keep going out there and doing my best, and good things will happen," Zito said.
Manager Bruce Bochy said a decision about the fourth spot in the rotation — likely between Zito and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong — likely would come down to the end.
"He's done a great job and had a really nice year," Bochy said of Zito. "He's had a really nice year. He's pitched big games for us and is getting wins when we really needed them so many times."
Buster Posey had a pair of singles and took over the lead in the race for the NL batting title at .333. Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, who was injured and left a game against the Mets, is at .332.
Scutaro's seventh homer extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games, while Pence connected for his 22nd against Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin.
Scutaro was acquired from the Colorado Rockies on July 27 and Pence came from the Phillies three days later — and both have provided a big boost in the absence of suspended All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera. They have combined for 80 RBIs since joining the Giants.
Earlier in the day, the Giants made it official: They won't bring back Cabrera at all during the postseason. His penalty for a positive testosterone test covers the final 45 regular-season games and five in the playoffs if the Giants last that long, or into next season.
Cabrera is hitting .346 but will fall one appearance short of qualifying for the batting title after the rule was recently changed by Major League Baseball and the players' union at his request.
"When Melky was suspended, that was a huge blow to everyone, everyone in San Francisco, and certainly everyone in this clubhouse," Zito said. "We knew that we were going to have to pick it up."