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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 31st (All times Eastern)

San Francisco Giants (0-0) at Arizona Diamondbacks (0-2), 9:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Madison Bumgarner (0-0, 0.00) Arizona - Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 0.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Diamondbacks opened up the home portion of their schedule half way around the world last week. Now, they'll really get to enjoy the comforts of home, as they host the San Francisco Giants in the first of a three-game series at Chase Field.

Arizona was listed as the home team last weekend in Sydney, Australia, when it lost both ends of a two-game series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It scored four runs in the ninth and almost pulled out a dramatic win in the second contest, but came up short in a 7-5 setback.

"The reality is, we lost two games here," said new left fielder Mark Trumbo, who went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer in the second game.

The Diamondbacks, who are still reeling from the loss for the season of young ace Patrick Corbin to Tommy John surgery, will hand the ball to right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who did not pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

McCarthy was the Opening Day starter for the Oakland A's in 2012 and went 5-11 with a 4.53 ERA in 22 starts last year in his first season with the Diamondbacks.

"It's a cool opportunity. For the fans, it's their first chance to get out and see you guys again," McCarthy said. "There's always a lot of atmosphere there; it's kind of the closest you get to a playoff atmosphere in the regular season until the season starts drawing to an end. It'll be fun."

San Francisco, meanwhile, struggled after winning its second world title in three years in 2012, as its starting staff broke down en route to a 76-86 finish.

Even with last season's disappointment, general manager Brian Sabean didn't tinker much with the roster. He did, however, take a chance on slugger Mike Morse, who could hit 30 home runs. Then again, he could also play just 30 games.

The Giants actually upgraded a starting staff that was a huge disappointment a year ago, as they let Barry Zito walk and replaced him with another workhorse veteran in Tim Hudson.

It will be 24-year-old Madison Bumgarner, though, who gets the call on Monday. With Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum struggling, Bumgarner assumed the role as team ace and won 13 games, while pitching to a 2.77 ERA. He also fell one strikeout short of 200 and went over 200 innings pitched for the third straight season.

"You think about it once you get into pro baseball," Bumgarner said of his Opening Day honor. "That's something you'd like to have the opportunity to do."

San Francisco was 12-7 last year against the Diamondbacks.

03/31 10:26:38 ET