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Slumping Giants aim to get on track vs. Diamondbacks

(SportsNetwork.com) - All of a sudden the San Francisco Giants no longer have a cushy lead atop the National League West standings.

The Giants look to get untracked when they begin a three-game series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday night from Chase Field and have lost five straight and eight of nine games.

San Francisco's current stretch now has them four games ahead of the charging and despised Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and continued with Wednesday's 7-6 loss against the Chicago White Sox in the finale of a quick two-game set. Tim Hudson had a rare poor performance on the mound, charged with seven runs and 12 hits, including two home runs, in 4 2/3 innings.

"It was frustrating no doubt," said Hudson. "They scored six runs on a day I pitched and we should win those games."

Gregor Blanco went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, Buster Posey posted two hits and two runs batted in and both Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval had two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who held a season-best 9 1/2-game lead at one point over the Dodgers.

The Giants will send Tim Lincecum to the mound Friday and the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA. He has rotated results in each of his last seven decisions and did not factor in the outcome of Friday's 7-4 loss to Colorado in which he hurled six innings of two-run ball.

Lincecum is 2-2 in five road starts and 8-9 with a 3.88 ERA in 25 career starts against Arizona. He lost to the D-backs in a 7-3 setback on April 9, when he gave up all seven runs in four innings, one start after giving up four runs in six innings of an 8-5 win in Arizona.

The Diamondbacks lost three of four meetings with the Milwaukee Brewers to start a nine-game homestand and dropped a 4-1 decision Thursday.

Chase Anderson started his rookie campaign 5-0, but has dropped back-to-back outings and gave up three runs -- two earned -- in six innings. Didi Gregorius had the lone RBI for Arizona and both David Peralta and Cody Ross ended with two hits in defeat.

"They got some good breaks this series," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said about the Brewers. "They outplayed us."

Arizona, losers in eight of 11 games overall, will also host Cleveland for two games on this stay and is 13-27 at Chase Field this season.

Josh Collmenter will try to end his three-start winless drought (0-2) when he takes the mound for Arizona tonight. Collmenter has allowed 13 runs over his past three outings and recently suffered a 6-4 loss at Los Angeles on Saturday, when he yielded six runs and eight hits in six innings.

Collmenter has a 4-4 record to go along with a 4.05 ERA and had won his previous four decisions until his current winless stretch. The righty has no record and a 1.29 ERA in three relief appearances against the Giants this season and is 4-1 in 15 career games (4 starts) to go along with a 3.98 ERA in this NL West rivalry.

The D-backs are 3-4 against San Francisco this season.