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Tue, Sep 4, 2012 - 10:15 PM ET
 

Diamondbacks-Giants Preview

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The San Francisco Giants are making a habit out of rallying for victories as they pursue a division crown.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are finding ways to cough up leads, and not surprisingly, their playoff hopes are fading.

The NL West-leading Giants look to build on another thrilling victory when they face the slumping Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

Things looked promising early for San Francisco (77-58) in Monday's opener, as it built a 4-0 lead after one inning. After the sixth, however, the Diamondbacks led 7-4, and the Giants entered the ninth still down by one. Buster Posey's one-out double in the ninth tied the game, and Marco Scutaro singled home the winning run in the 10th to lift San Francisco to a 9-8 victory.

"Tremendous comeback,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's a little different in September, there's no getting around it.''

The Giants, who have a 4 1/2-game lead over Los Angeles, have won six of seven - needing to come from behind in four of those victories.

"Everybody's doing their job," said Scutaro, who is batting .328 in his last 14 games. "That's what it's all about (for a) championship team - it's a team. Everybody has to play good."

While San Francisco looks like it has a chance to play deep into October, Arizona's playoff hopes seem far less realistic.

The Diamondbacks (66-70) have lost three straight and are 2-9 since Aug. 24, dropping 11 1/2 games behind the Giants and 7 1/2 back of the NL's second wild card.

The way they've been losing has been particularly discouraging. J.J. Putz has blown ninth-inning saves in the last two games, and Arizona has squandered leads in five of its last six defeats.

"We've just got to get out of it right now," manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website.

Arizona's offense finally broke out of its funk Monday, plating more than four runs for the first time in 13 games.

Justin Upton had two hits after going 3 for 24 in his previous six games, while Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice for his second straight multihit game after going 2 for 25 in his previous eight.

The Diamondbacks could have more success offensively against Ryan Vogelsong (12-7, 3.02 ERA).

Vogelsong led the NL in ERA just three weeks ago, but a 9.00 ERA in his last four starts has dropped him well off the pace. In Houston on Thursday, the right-hander allowed four runs in six innings, but got plenty of help in an 8-4 win.

San Francisco has enjoyed several outbursts like that lately, plating at least five runs in each of its last five victories. The Giants have won their last 17 games when reaching the five-run mark and are 23-1 in such contests since the All-Star break.

Posey has been a big part of the recent surge, batting .429 with five RBIs during a five-game hitting streak. He is also 8 for 20 lifetime against Ian Kennedy (12-11, 4.27), who has routinely shut down San Francisco.

Kennedy has won five straight starts against the Giants and posted a 1.58 ERA in his last seven outings in the series - going 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his past four at AT&T.

The right-hander was 1-3 with a 6.33 ERA in his last four starts overall prior to doing San Francisco a favor Thursday. Kennedy held the Dodgers to two hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 2-0 victory.

Vogelsong, who allowed one run in his lone start of the year against the Diamondbacks on May 29, has a 2.05 ERA in four starts versus Arizona during his second stint with the Giants.

Tagged: Giants, Diamondbacks, Ryan Vogelsong, Ian Kennedy

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