As for the D-backs, a series victory -- or even better, a sweep -- could bury the Giants in the division race once and for all. However, center fielder Chris Young noted that the club can't think ahead and must instead focus on each daily task.
"You just have to keep playing until you get to that point when you clinch. No matter if you're beating the Giants or if you're beating the Padres or Rockies," Young said. "The last thing we want to do is put too much pressure on ourselves for any games coming up."
Nevertheless, with a six-game lead in the division, Arizona can afford to feel at least somewhat loose as it travels to San Francisco.
"I'm excited," Young said. "It's going to be fun -- every time we've played the Giants this year, it's been fun. It's fun playing there. There's always a lot of energy in the air, especially when we go to [San Francisco]. It's always a sold-out game."D-backs: Saunders on the hill
Saunders takes the AT&T Park mound for the first time in his career. The left-hander comes off an impressive outing against the Padres in which he allowed one unearned run in seven innings. He has struggled against San Francisco this season, however, losing both of his starts while allowing a combined eight runs in 13 2/3 innings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the D-backs have not allowed more than one run in any of their past 63 innings, which set a new club record. Giants: Rowand's tenure ends
The Giants designated outfielder Aaron Rowand for assignment Wednesday. Rowand, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Giants in 2008, has one more year and roughly $14 million remaining on his contract. He hit .253 with with 43 homers and 189 RBIs in 509 games with the Giants. Rowand wasn't the only veteran let go Wednesday, as San Francisco also designated infielder Miguel Tejada for assignment. Tejada signed a one-year deal with the Giants this offseason and hit .239 with a .270 on-base percentage. The moves were made to make room for Pat Burrell (right mid foot strain), who was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, and infielder Brett Pill, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno. Pill, 27, hit .312 with 25 homers and 107 RBIs for the Grizzlies while playing first and second base. Worth noting
The Giants finished August with a .180 average with runners in scoring position. The Giants are only 11-14 at AT&T Park since the All-Star break.