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| Sports |

Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants Battle to Stay Out of the Cellar Tonight Through Sunday

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The Diamondbacks sucking wind with the bottom-feeders? The Padres in the clouds? What in the name of collective mediocrity is going on in the National League West?

Thankfully, there's one constant that NL West watchers can depend on, post-Barry Bonds: The San Francisco Giants still bite.

At the moment, our struggling Snakes are not much to write home about, either, so it's probably a blessing that the young D-Backs' first taste of the road in the new year will come at SF's AT&T Park (as opposed to, say, Chavez Ravine).

Arizona (3-6) and San Fran (2-7) hook up in games at 7:15 tonight, 1:05 p.m. tomorrow, and 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The likely series highlight comes on the Sabbath, when Max Scherzer (0-0, 5.40) is scheduled to make his second start of the season for the D-Backs against none other than the Big Unit, former D-Back Randy Johnson, who'll be pitching against the Diamondbacks franchise for the first time ever in regular-season play. The aging Unit signed as a free agent with the Giants in an effort to get to 300 wins sometime before the Grim Reaper arrives. Unfortunately for RJ, the Reaper's gaining -- fast. Johnson comes into the game with an 0-2 record and an anti-sparkling 11.42 ERA. Ouch.

Tonight's hookup pits (no pun intended) the snakebit Dan Haren (0-2, 2.08) against SF lefty Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 9.64). Haren's last start was the infamous "four-out rule" loss to the Dodgers on April 12. The D-Backs are 5-1 against Sanchez lifetime.

Saturday, it's Doug Davis (0-2, 4.15) for the D-Backs against last year's NL Cy Young winner, San Fran's Tim Lincecum (0-1, 7.56). Ya hate to waste any really good Davis effort, but that's just what the Diamondbacks did in Double-D's last one, a 2-1 heartbreaker to St. Louis on the 13th. Lincecum's off to a shaky start, but he's historically owned the D-Backs.

MLB TV will broadcast all three games. FSN AZ will show today's and Sunday's games. Radio: KTAR-FM 620. More info: www.dbacks.com.

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