D'backs resume playoff push versus Giants

The Arizona Diamondbacks resume their chase of a wild card spot on Friday night when they begin a three-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants.

The Diamondbacks are playing .500 baseball this month at 13-12, but have struggled to keep pace with Los Angeles and trail the Dodgers by 9 1/2 games for first place in the NL West. That may force Arizona to focus on the wild card race down the stretch as it trails the Cincinnati Reds by six games for the second playoff berth.

The D'backs will host San Francisco and Toronto, a pair of last-place clubs, to conclude this nine-game homestand before visiting the Giants for another four games.

Arizona began its residency by taking two of three from San Diego and turns to right-hander Randall Delgado tonight. He is 4-4 with a 3.87 earned run average in 14 games (13 starts) this season.

Delgado is winless in his last four outings, but pitched very well in Philadelphia on Saturday. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and was charged with three runs on three hits and a walk over six frames of a no- decision.

The 23-year-old beat the Giants in San Francisco on July 21, scattering three hits and four walks over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He has given up just one run over 11 2/3 career frames against them.

Following an off day on Thursday, the Diamondbacks reportedly agreed to a deal that will send outfielder Jason Kubel and cash to Cleveland for a player to be named later.

With his playing time decreasing thanks to a .220 average and just five homers in 89 games this season, Kubel was designated for assignment on Tuesday. He hit 30 homers in 141 games last season.

The Giants, who trail in the NL West by 19 games one season after winning their second World Series title in three years, began a nine-game swing with two losses in three games at Colorado. They'll try to even their mark on the trip tonight behind Tim Lincecum.

The 29-year-old righty allowed 11 runs over back-to-back losses to Washington and Boston before beating Pittsburgh on Saturday. Lincecum logged 101 pitches over 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits and four walks while striking out eight.

Lincecum, 7-13 with a 4.55 ERA in 26 starts this season, has faced Arizona only once prior this season and did not factor into a May 1 win. He allowed five runs over five innings and is 7-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 22 lifetime meetings.

The Giants have won eight of 12 versus the Diamondbacks this season, going 5-1 in Arizona.