While the San Francisco Giants continue to slide, Carlos Rodon has put together a second straight stellar season. He also has been very good against the Chicago Cubs recently.

On Friday against the Cubs, the left-hander will try to match his career high in victories while also attempting to help the visiting Giants avoid a fifth straight loss.

San Francisco (65-72) is a dismal 17-29 since the All-Star break, has totaled nine runs during its four-game slide and was just swept in a doubleheader at Milwaukee on Thursday, 2-1 and 4-2. However, Rodon (12-7, 2.92 ERA) has been a bright spot.

He ranks among the major league leaders in ERA and has a career-high 201 strikeouts. With a winning decision Friday, Rodon would match the career-high 13 victories he earned last season for the Chicago White Sox.

During San Francisco’s 5-3 home win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Rodon allowed five hits over six scoreless innings. He fanned 10 to tie a modern-era club record with nine games of at least 10 strikeouts in a season.

“It doesn’t really tell the story of how good a player he is, but it certainly tells the story of how durable a player is,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “This is an indication that he’s really had a durable, consistent and very impressive overall season.”

Rodon, 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his past seven starts, has been pretty impressive in his last two starts against the Cubs (57-80). He gave up just four hits and two walks while striking out 21 over 12 scoreless innings. Rodon recorded 10 of those strikeouts through seven innings of the Giants’ 4-0 home victory on July 31.

Chicago’s Seiya Suzuki went 1-for-3 vs. Rodon in that contest, but teammate Nico Hoerner was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

The Cubs are coming off back-to-back losses to the Cincinnati Reds, including a 4-3 setback on Thursday in the rubber game of a three-game series. Chicago is batting .224 and averaging 3.3 runs while going 5-13 since winning five straight Aug. 16-20.

However, since the start of August, Suzuki has three home runs, six doubles and 13 RBIs.

“Just continue to push through this season and look up at the end and kind of be able to recap your strengths and weaknesses and things you learn about the season,” Cubs manager David Ross said of Suzuki, who is batting .264 and ranks among the NL rookie leaders with 12 homers and 44 RBIs.

Scheduled Cubs starter Drew Smyly (5-8, 3.84 ERA) allowed three earned runs over 30 innings while going 2-1 during a five-start stretch before visiting St. Louis on Saturday. There, the 33-year-old left-hander was roughed up for a season-worst seven runs while allowing three homers and three walks over 2 1/3 innings during an 8-4 loss.

In Chicago’s 5-4 defeat at San Francisco on July 30, Smyly allowed five runs and seven hits, including a two-run homer by Luis Gonzalez and a solo blast from Joey Bart, over four innings.

In four career games against the Giants, Smyly is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA.

Meanwhile, Mike Yastrzemski recorded three of the seven hits San Francisco totaled in the two games at Milwaukee on Thursday. He is batting .364 (8-for-22) with four doubles and a triple in eight games this month.

–Field Level Media