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Ace Versus Ace, D-backs Start Series With Giants, 7:15 P.M. AZT

(Sports Network) - The National League Wild Card-leading San Francisco Giants will try to continue their dominance of the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks when the two clubs open a three-game series tonight at AT&T Park.

The Giants hold a slim half-game lead over Philadelphia and a 1 1/2-game advantage on St. Louis for the final playoff spot in the NL. They hope to pad that lead in this upcoming series with the Diamondbacks, who have lost seven of nine matchups with San Francisco this season. The Giants have won seven in a row and 20 of the past 27 meetings with Arizona.

With the Phillies and Cardinals struggling as of late, the Giants have also been playing poorly, having posted six losses over their previous 10 contests. They were aiming for a three-game home sweep of Cincinnati, but dropped a 12-11 decision in 12 innings in Wednesday's series finale.

Barry Zito took the mound in relief in the 12th and gave up a two-out RBI single to Joey Votto to suffer the loss. Madison Bumgarner started the game for the Giants and did not figure into the decision after allowing eight runs -- seven earned -- in just 2 2/3 innings of work.

"It was a tough loss, obviously, but we feel inspired because we didn't throw in the towel," Zito said. "A lot of times when there is no momentum in your favor and you muster it back up from nothing, that says a lot about how much heart a team has."

Juan Uribe finished 3-for-6 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored, while Andres Torres and Pat Burrell both knocked in a pair of runs for San Francisco, which recorded an 18-16 edge in hits.

The Giants will also host Colorado on their current nine-game homestand and will send two-time defending NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum to the mound Friday night. Lincecum hasn't pitched like an award winner lately, having lost four straight starts to go along with an 8.38 ERA. He lost at St. Louis last Saturday and allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-1 setback.

The right-hander is 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 26 starts this season and has lost eight starts for the first time in his career. Lincecum is 7-5 in 13 home starts and 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 career starts against the Diamondbacks.

Arizona has been playing .500 baseball in its last six games and ended a three-game losing streak with Thursday's 11-5 win over the NL West-leading San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Ian Kennedy threw seven shutout innings and struck out 12 batters for the win. Stephen Drew belted a three-run homer and finished with four RBI and Mark Reynolds cracked a two-run shot for Arizona, which got four RBI from Chris Young and three hits out of Gerardo Parra.

"I was just throwing a lot of strikes," Kennedy said. "Our team scoring a lot of runs early on lets you pound the strike zone. The offense makes it easier on yourself."

Drew owns six hits, including three homers, and six RBI in his last two games.

The last-place D'Backs will send rookie Barry Enright to the mound this evening, and he's 4-2 with a 2.73 earned run average in 10 starts. Enright has won his last three decisions, spanning seven starts, and defeated Colorado last Saturday with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

Enright, a right-hander, faced San Francisco for the first time in a 3-2 loss at Chase Field on July 25. He limited the Giants to a pair of runs on eight hits in six innings for the no-decision.