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What's new: Injuries and inconsistency have left the defending World Series champs last in the National League West. Going into Thursday, the Giants had lost eight of 11 and 23 of 33. The offense had been held to three or fewer runs in nine of the past 11 games. All-Star C Buster Posey, whom the Rays passed on to take INF Tim Beckham No. 1 overall in the 2008 draft, was in a 3-for-28 skid before going 2-for-4 in Thursday's win. The rotation ranked near the bottom of the NL in ERA. 3B Pablo Sandoval (heel bruise) is day-to-day.

Key stat: From May 14 through Wednesday, the Giants had the worst record in the majors, 24-44.

Connections: Giants RHP Chad Gaudin is an ex-Ray. Posey starred at FSU. GM Brian Sabean is a former Eckerd College player and Saint Leo and Tampa coach. Manager Bruce Bochy starred at Melbourne High and Brevard Community College. Rays RHP Jamey Wright and bench coach Dave Martinez are ex-Giants.

Series history: Tied 3-3. Rays lead 2-1 at Trop. Last played in 2004.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays-Giants preview 08/01/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 1, 2013 10:16pm]
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