Giants season on line this weekend against Arizona

Posted: Updated:
Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco, left, and closing pitcher J.J. Putz celebrate a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) By Tom Mihalek Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco, left, and closing pitcher J.J. Putz celebrate a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) By Tom Mihalek

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A series that for so long has been billed as an early September showdown between division rivals has suddenly turned into San Francisco's last stand.

If the reigning World Series champion Giants want to keep any hopes alive of defending their title, they had better show up -- and score runs -- in this weekend's crucial matchup with the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

The D-backs (78-59) hold a six-game lead in the NL West race with 25 to go for each club and are riding a nine-game winning streak. Both teams had the day off Thursday to rest up for what most certainly will be an intense, entertaining three days at sold-out AT&T Park.