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Duffy relishes Giants-Dodgers rivalry

SAN FRANCISCO -- Some players dismiss the Giants-Dodgers rivalry as a diversion meant largely for fans. Don't tell that to Matt Duffy.

The Giants' rookie infielder, who received a start Wednesday night at third base in the second game of a three-game set between the National League West foes, relishes the rivalry as much as any orange- or blue-clad zealot in the stands.

"I love these games," he said.

Duffy's appreciation for the decades-old drama linking the teams is partly due to geography. He grew up in Long Beach rooting for the Angels, which exposed him to cross-town Interleague tension.

"It's not quite the same as the Dodgers-Giants rivalry. This is much more intense," Duffy said. "But I definitely understand the heightened competition when you play the Dodgers. That makes for a fun atmosphere."

Spending last season's final two months with the Giants as they surged toward the World Series taught Duffy that encounters with the Dodgers mean more than the continuation of a feud. They're dress rehearsals for October.

Said Duffy, "We know that once you get to the postseason, these are the types of games you're going to be playing, and these are the types of games that you have to know how to win and find ways to win. ... You have to find out how to play close to flawless baseball to swing the game one way or another. One run can make the difference."

• Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that right-hander Jake Peavy will test his recovery from back trouble by pitching Friday for Class A Advanced San Jose against Rancho Cucamonga. Bochy added that Peavy's performance will determine the following step in the right-hander's injury rehabilitation assignment. Peavy hasn't pitched competitively since April 17, when he surrendered four runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings as the Giants lost to Arizona, 9-0.

• Bochy said that the Giants probably will summon a reliever to serve as the 26th player allowed by baseball's rules to participate in Saturday's day-night doubleheader at Colorado. A leading candidate for promotion would appear to be right-hander Hunter Strickland, who began Wednesday with a 1.74 ERA, five saves and 22 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings spanning 14 appearances for Triple-A Sacramento.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
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