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Giants to get heavy dose of NL West to start 2014

Season starts March 31 in Arizona; first 22 games against division

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will immediately learn how they measure up against their National League West rivals next season.

They'll play their first 22 games against division foes, according to the tentative 2014 schedule released Tuesday.

San Francisco will open the season March 31 at Arizona, which happens to be where the team's march to the World Series in 2012 began. Next comes a three-game series at Los Angeles.

The Giants' home opener at AT&T Park is slated for Tuesday, April 8, against Arizona. That launches a three-team, nine-game homestand that includes visits by the Rockies and Dodgers.

Division competition continues on the next trip, which will take the Giants to San Diego and Colorado. They won't face a non-West opponent until April 25, when they'll entertain Cleveland in their first Interleague series of the season.

Later, if the Giants are contenders in the division race, they'll undergo a stiff test during a sojourn to Arizona (Sept. 15-17), San Diego (Sept. 19-21) and Los Angeles (Sept. 22-24).

Highlights of the Giants' 81-game home schedule include visits by the Dodgers (April 15-17, July 25-27 and Sept. 12-14) and A's (July 9-10). The A's series will be a continuation, in a sense, of the Giants' cross-bay trip to Oakland, slated for July 7-8.

Other Interleague opponents the Giants will host are Minnesota (May 23-25) and the Chicago White Sox (Aug. 12-13). San Francisco's Interleague trips feature a rematch of the 2012 World Series at Detroit, Sept. 5-7. The Giants also will visit the White Sox (June 17-18) and Kansas City Royals (Aug. 8-10).

Since Giants fans tend to flock to San Diego, a large orange-and-black-clad contingent can be expected at Petco Park during Fourth of July weekend. That series is scheduled for July 4-6.

San Francisco's lone holiday home game is a Memorial Day date with the Cubs on May 26. The longest scheduled homestand is a 10-game set against San Diego (June 23-25), Cincinnati (June 26-29) and St. Louis (July 1-3). The Giants' longest trip is a three-city, 10-game journey to face the New York Mets (Aug. 1-4), Milwaukee (Aug. 5-7) and, as mentioned, Kansas City (Aug. 8-10).

The Giants will conclude the regular season with four games against the Padres, Sept. 25-28.

Chris Haft is a reporter for

San Francisco Giants