NL West race shapes up: Champion Giants vs D-backs

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Not so long ago, Kevin Towers and Bruce Bochy were working together to build a winner in San Diego.

Now, Towers is the first-year general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and trying mightily to dethrone Bochy and the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

The D-backs led the NL West on Thursday for the first time since June 24, on top in a year when many hardly considered them contenders. Even Towers himself acknowledged at the start of spring training his team would have to surprise with pitching in a division dominated by talented arms or Arizona would fall out of the running in a hurry.

Bochy's Giants are in their worst funk of the year, and Arizona hopes to take advantage. Who would have thought the West would turn into a two-team race in early August?