If there's any good news for the Phillies as they head home from a forgettable road trip with an eight-game losing streak, it's this: Things can only get better.
Philadelphia wrapped up a 1-8 road trip with an ugly 12-4 loss Sunday, a game marred by an eight-run sixth inning.
"If there's a bottom, this has to be it," shortstop Jimmy Rollins told reporters after the loss to the Tigers. "I can't imagine things getting worse than they have this past week."
And if there's any other silver linings to be found for the Phillies, perhaps it's this: The Giants know exactly what they're going through. The two teams, who entered the season with postseason aspirations, will meet for three games at Citizens Bank Park starting Tuesday night with records well below what they had hoped for.
San Francisco dropped its fourth straight game and its seventh in eight attempts Sunday with a 2-1 loss to the Cubs. Among the Giants' problems is a lack of timely hitting. San Francisco has batted just .197 (50-for-254) with runners in scoring position over its past 32 games.
Both clubs could use a boost from their starting pitchers. For the Giants, it'll be Barry Zito, who is still in search of his first road victory this season. Even Tuesday, pitching at AT&T Park in a road uniform, Zito allowed three runs in only 4 2/3 innings as he didn't receive a decision against the Reds.
Zito's home-road splits this year are mystifying. In 12 starts in San Francisco, he's 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched). In eight road outings, he's 0-6 with a 9.89 ERA and a 2.44 WHIP, largely because opponents have hit .426 against him in those starts.
Unfortunately for Zito, he'll be lining up opposite John Lannan, who's pitched well in front of his home crowd this year, albeit in a small sample. On the road, the veteran lefty is 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings. But in Philadelphia, Lannan is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA over 33 innings in five starts.
Lannan had allowed only eight hits and one run in his previous 16 innings entering his start Wednesday in St. Louis. But his hot streak ended as he surrendered four runs on eight hits in four innings, taking his fourth loss of the season.
"There were times I didn't execute," Lannan said. "I felt pretty good. I just didn't execute when I needed to."
Giants: Moscoso activated; Petit designated
Right-hander Guillermo Moscoso joined the Giants' active roster before Sunday's series finale against the Cubs. In a corresponding move, San Francisco designated right-hander Yusmiero Petit for assignment.
The Giants acquired Moscoso on Friday in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. He hasn't pitched in the Majors this season but spent parts of the past four seasons with the Rangers, A's and Rockies, putting together a 4.16 ERA in 57 appearances.
"It's a good feeling that I'm here," said Moscoso, who went 7-5 with a 3.93 ERA for Triple-A Iowa this season. "I know pretty much all the guys, and I want to help the team win."
• The Giants are just 18-31 on the road this season.
Phillies: Papelbon speaks out
Closer Jonathan Papelbon expressed his frustration with the Phillies' situation after Sunday's loss, saying the organization will have to undergo changes from the top down if the team continues to struggle.
"I definitely didn't come here for this," said Papelbon, who signed a four-year, $50 million contract in November 2011. "I would like to stay here. But if I'm going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, I don't want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?"
• Philadelphia's current standing -- a season-high seven games under .500 -- could compel the club to trade third baseman Michael Young to a contender. Young is unlikely to re-sign with the Phillies as a free agent after this season. He has a no-trade clause in his contract and said he didn't know if he would waive it.
"I haven't heard a thing," Young said Sunday. "I haven't had any conversations with the Phillies up to this point. As far as I know, I'll be ready to roll 7 o'clock on Tuesday."
• The Phillies haven't lost eight in a row since Sept. 18-24, 2011.
• The Giants were just swept by the Cubs in San Francisco for the first time since Sept. 13-15, 1993.