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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 5th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Cardinals (1-2) at San Francisco Giants (2-1), 4:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (0-0, 0.00) San Francisco - Barry Zito (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants will raise their 2012 World Series championship banner on Friday when they kick off a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park.

Of course, the Giants defeated the Cardinals in a thrilling NLCS a year ago to advance to the World Series, where they swept the Detroit Tigers to claim their second title in three years.

A big part of that championship run was lefty Barry Zito, who will be on the hill Friday. Zito enjoyed one of his best regular seasons in years, as he went 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA. But after being a non-factor during the Giants' 2010 championship run, Zito was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three postseason appearances last year.

"I can't predict how I am," Zito said. "I would like to stay focused on what I have to do and my process and not get caught up too much in the festivities and stuff like that. That's great for the fans, obviously. That's for them to enjoy but for us we've got to focus on our tasks."

San Francisco opened its season in impressive fashion by taking two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Wednesday, Pablo Sandoval stroked a two-run homer and the Giants took a 5-3 victory.

Hunter Pence added a solo homer and the Giants received an RBI from starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (1-0), who was effectively wild over five innings.

After a rough 2012 campaign, Lincecum was far from his former dominant self in his first start of the season, tying a career-high with seven walks. He only gave up three hits, though, and while he allowed two runs, neither were earned.

Sergio Romo locked down the save in the ninth.

St. Louis, meanwhile, lost two of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks, including a 10-9 loss in a 16-inning marathon on Wednesday. Yadier Molina homered and drove in three runs, while Daniel Descalso went 4-for-7 with two runs scored and two RBI for the Cardinals.

St. Louis' Lance Lynn lasted just four-plus innings after yielding four runs on six hits and three walks.

Getting the call for the Cardinals on Friday will be righty Jake Westbrook, who was 13-11 last season with a 3.97 ERA, but had his campaign cut short in September by an oblique injury.

"I feel good about where I am," Westbrook said.

The Cardinals split their six matchups with the Giants last season. However, St. Louis hasn't won a season series against them since it took four of five during the 2006 season.

04/05 10:34:50 ET

  • NFL: Oakland at Green Bay

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: The Barclays

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: New Orleans at Indianapolis

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at New England

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • HighSchoolOT.com Wrap-up Show

    Saturday at 9:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
MIA 4
TEX 5
Final
PHI 4
SEA 3
Final
MIL 5
TOR 9
Final
OAK 5
NYM 8
Final
WAS 3
ARI 2
Final
PIT 3
ATL 2
Final
NYY 2
HOU 5
Final
TAM 0
DET 6
Final
BOS 3
ANA 8
Final
STL 7
CIN 3
Final
CHC 3
SFG 8
Final
CWS 3
BAL 4
Final
MIN 0
CLE 5
Final
COL 5
KAN 2
Final
LOS 1
SDP 4
1:05pm Today
NYY
HOU
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
DET
 
4:05pm Today
WAS
ARI
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
ANA
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
SFG
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SDP
 
7:30pm Tonight
PHI
PIT
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR