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| Sports |

Arizona Diamondbacks Drop 2 of 3 to Dodgers but Don't Lose Ground in NL West Race

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Sure, losing two of three to an inferior team feels pretty bad, but at least the weekend series for the Arizona Diamondbacks wasn't a complete disaster. That's because the San Francisco Giants, who led the D-Backs by .5 games heading into the weekend, exited the weekend still leading by only .5 games. In what could be a National League Championship Series preview, the Philadelphia Phillies won three of four against the Giants.

As in the Giants' case on Sunday with Tim Lincecum stopping the bleeding, it took the ace of the D-Backs staff, Ian Kennedy, to salvage the weekend. Kennedy pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk. He left the game trailing 3-2, but shortstop and Mesa native Cody Ransom bailed out Kennedy with a two-run homer (the first of his career) in the bottom of the seventh. Kennedy walked away with the win after David Hernandez and J.J. Putz pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Kennedy is now 14-3 on the season with a highly respectable 3.20 earned-run average.

On Friday, the D-Backs lost 7-4, and on Saturday, they lost 5-3. In Friday's contest, D-Backs starting pitcher Josh Collmenter took a beating, giving up six runs in just 2.1 innings, and on Saturday, Dodgers rookie Nate Eovaldi struck out seven while giving up only two runs in five innings for his first career win.

Tonight, the D-Backs open a four-game series against arguably the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros. Daniel Hudson will take his 11-7 record and 3.67 earned-run average to the mound as he opposes the Astros' Wandy Rodriguez.

Game time is 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Net. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.

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