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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

San Francisco Giants (0-2) at Arizona Diamondbacks (2-0), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Matt Cain (0-0, 0.00) Arizona - Josh Collmenter (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - Last season, the Giants lost their first two games before getting a victory from Matt Cain.

San Francisco will look for a little repeat of history this afternoon as it tries to avoid its worst start in 28 years and snap a lengthy losing streak to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a three-game series.

The Giants also lost their first two games of the 2011 season to the Dodgers before Cain went out and threw six scoreless innings in a 10-0 victory. They'll turn to their right-hander today hoping he can play the role of stopper on the strength of a new monster contract.

Cain, a 2002 first-round draft pick, has morphed into one of the top right- handers in the game. He owns a career earned run average of 3.35 in 204 games, going 12-11 in 33 starts last year with an outstanding 2.88 ERA. He also struck out 179 to match the second-highest total of his career.

San Francisco rewarded Cain with an extension through 2017 that will pay the 27-year-old $127.5 million.

Cain certainly got a good look at the defending National League West-champion Diamondbacks last season, going 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA in six starts against them.

The Diamondbacks won their final five games versus the Giants last year, earning a split of the 18-game season series and have stretched that winning streak by taking the first two games of this series by 5-4 scores. Arizona had to hold on Saturday after racing out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings, getting a pair of homers from Aaron Hill.

Chris Young had a pair of doubles and two RBI for the Diamondbacks, who are off to their first 2-0 start since 2002. They have begun a season with three straight wins only once before back in 2000.

Daniel Hudson gave up four runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings and added two hits and a run scored at the plate for the Diamondbacks.

"There were a couple of things I didn't do well today," said Hudson. "A couple of mistakes that they put over the wall and I didn't get enough first-pitch strikes. There's some things I need to work on."

Pablo Sandoval and Brett Pill each hit a two-run home run for the Giants, who saw starter Madison Bumgarner give up four runs on seven hits in just four innings.

"It was similar to yesterday in that we were down early and tried to come back," said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy. "It's a good sign that we're coming back, but we have to start better."

Another poor start today could doom the Giants to their first 0-3 beginning since 1984.

Aiming to pitch the Diamondbacks to the sweep is 26-year-old Josh Collmenter, who appeared in 31 games as a rookie last season with 24 starts and produced a 10-10 record with a 3.38 ERA.

The righty made his major league debut versus the Giants on April 17, throwing two scoreless innings of relief and getting a win. He went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three games (2 starts) versus the Giants overall.

04/08 10:28:55 ET

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