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08/12/10 1:44 AM ET

Contending Giants go for series win

As the division races begin to take shape around baseball, the Giants look like a contender for their first playoff bid since 2003.

After taking two of the first three games against the Cubs, Matt Cain and the Giants will go for the series win in the finale Thursday. Since the All-Star break, Cain has been one of San Francisco's most reliable pitchers, going 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts.

"It's so exciting being where we are, so close to first place," Barry Zito said. "We're not going for the Wild Card. We're going for the whole deal."

Entering play Thursday, the Giants (65-50) trail the first-place Padres by 2 1/2 games in the National League West, while toting a one-game lead over Philadelphia and Cincinnati in the Wild Card race.

Despite their payroll of more than $140 million, the Cubs (48-66) will be outside of the playoff picture once again, barring an epic seven-week run to end the season. The Cubs have lost 12 of their last 14 games to all but extend their title drought to 102 years.

"You've got to keep fighting this thing and if you have fight, you have a chance," Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell said. "Two options -- you either quit, or keep pushing and keep plugging, and the first one is not an option."

On Thursday, Randy Wells will take the mound for Chicago. Wells has a 2.98 ERA over his last eight starts, but the Cubs are just 2-6 in those games.

Giants: Renteria sidelined with strained biceps
Edgar Renteria landed on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this season Wednesday, this time with a strained left biceps. Renteria said he hopes he can return in two to three weeks.

"I'll just get treatment and get strong again and hope in September everything's fine," Renteria said.

Cubs: Castillo debuts
Catcher Welington Castillo made his big league debut Wednesday, doubling in his first at-bat en route to finishing 1-for-3 with two strikeouts.

"It's a little cold here," Castillo said of San Francisco. "I came from Des Moines [Iowa] where it was really hot. I'm not going to think about it, I'm going to try to play well and do what I can to help the pitcher and try to win the game."

Worth noting
For the third time in as many years, a player had to switch clubhouses in San Francisco because of a trade. On Wednesday, infielder Mike Fontenot was traded from the Cubs to the Giants in exchange for Minor League outfielder Evan Crawford.

"It's been a strange day so far, just coming to the field, getting the work in and everything and coming up from the stairs after hitting, and they brought me in the office after hitting to let me know," Fontenot said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to play here. I've been keeping up with baseball as much as anybody else does and knowing that the Giants are in the thick of it really gets you pumped up."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.