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Diamondbacks, Giants prepare for series opener, MLB draft

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San Francisco Giants' second baseman Joe Panik celebrates in the dugout with teammates after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against Los Angeles Dodgers' starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw on March 29 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen | License Photo

By Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange, UPI

Two teams with more on their minds than just an early season baseball game begin a three-game series Monday night when the Arizona Diamondbacks visit the San Francisco Giants.

Both teams are coming off 6-1 wins that completed three-game sweeps Sunday, the Diamondbacks over the Miami Marlins and the Giants over the Philadelphia Phillies.

They will enter the series separated by 3 1/2 games atop the National League West, with the Giants (29-30) needing a sweep to catch the Diamondbacks (31-27) in the loss column.

As both teams look ahead to a showdown between left-handers Patrick Corbin and Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday in the San Francisco ace's season debut, each will participate in the first day of the Major League Baseball draft before Monday's matchup.

Befitting teams that finished 29 games apart last season -- San Francisco (64-98) had the worst record in the NL and Arizona (93-69) landed a wild-card playoff berth -- the Giants will pick early (No. 2) and the Diamondbacks late (No. 25) in the first round Monday.

Interestingly, the Giants have been linked to Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, which could signal a possible move to first base by their current All-Star catcher, Buster Posey.

Giants general manager Bobby Evans insisted he's not looking for a catcher, a pitcher ... anything in particular ... but just another great player.

"You can get a game-changing guy in any number of places, but your odds increase when you select as high, as we will," he said. "While the probability might change, even when not picking this high, your goal is still to get an impact player."

For now, the Giants will stick with Posey, which isn't necessarily good news for Arizona's starter in Monday's series opener, Zack Godley (5-4, 4.38). Posey has gone 3-for-5 in his career against the 28-year-old.

Godley held the Giants scoreless for seven innings in a 2-1 win in April. It was his first-ever appearance at AT&T Park.

He's 2-1 overall in his career against the Giants with a 4.67 ERA in five games, including three starts.

Giants starter Derek Holland (3-6, 4.94) will see a Diamondbacks offense that came to life during a 5-1 homestand.

Those five wins all came against Cincinnati and Miami, which was considered a step in the right direction for a team that now figures to get a more serious test on the road.

"We didn't really have much farther down to go, so it was bound to get better," Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt said of the winning homestand. "We have to keep it going. It's still really early in the year. There's a long way to go."

Holland was the unlucky loser in the earlier matchup with Godley. He gave up a first-inning triple to Goldschmidt that scored one run and led to a second, the only runs he allowed in a six-inning stint.

It was Holland's only career meeting with Arizona, leaving him with an 0-1 record and a 3.00 ERA.

The hottest Diamondbacks hitter entering the series is David Peralta, who homered in each of the club's three wins over the Marlins the last three days.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Diamondbacks, Giants prepare for series opener, MLB draft
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