Oswalt and Lincecum will meet again Tuesday when the Astros and Giants continue their three-game series at AT&T Park.
Oswalt (6-2, 2.83 ERA) held the Giants hitless through 5 2-3 innings and pitched seven scoreless innings in Houston on Thursday, while Lincecum (1-0, 3.44) struck out 10 batters and allowed just one unearned run in seven innings in his third career start. However, the game wasn’t decided until the 12th inning, when Randy Winn beat out a grounder that bounced off first base and allowed Pedro Feliz to score the go-ahead run in San Francisco’s 2-1 victory.
“It was as good a pitching matchup as you’ll see in a game,” manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants’ official Web site. “Both guys were dealing. Our guy threw great and Oswalt was on his game. It was just a great matchup.”
Lincecum, the Giants’ top pick in the 2006 draft who made his debut on May 6, has gone seven innings in each of his last two starts, including an 8-3 win at Colorado on May 11. He has earned a chance to remain in the rotation while Russ Ortiz, who was activated from the disabled list Monday, heads to the bullpen.
“Looked like he’s got a good arm,” Oswalt said. “He throws a lot of strikes and attacks the strike zone. Looks like he’s got some good stuff. I like the way he competes.”
Oswalt, who had won his previous three starts, has gone at least six innings in all but one of his 10 starts, and has allowed three or fewer runs in all but two. He is 2-4 with a 3.93 ERA in nine career starts against San Francisco, and just 1-4 with a 5.34 ERA at AT&T Park.
The Giants (22-22) won Monday’s series opener 4-0 for their second straight win. Ryan Klesko hit his first homer since Sept. 26, 2005, and his first since joining San Francisco in the offseason, and Bengie Molina singled in two runs in the sixth.
Randy Winn doubled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. Winn’s streak is the longest by a Giants player since Robby Thompson’s hit in 21 straight games 1993, and the longest current streak in the majors after Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips had his 22-game run snapped Monday.
Slugger Barry Bonds went 0-for-2 with two walks to remain 10 homers behind Hank Aaron’s career record of 755. Bonds is hitting just .161 (5-for-31) with no RBIs since hitting his last homer May 8 off Tom Glavine of the New York Mets.
Bonds was 4-for-4 with a homer and four walks against Oswalt before going hitless in three at-bats on Thursday. But despite his slump, Houston manager Phil Garner said he’ll pitch around Bonds if he needs to.
“It still depends on the situation,” Garner said. “The same thing with (Albert) Pujols or any of the better hitters. Unfortunately the home run chase isn’t any different part of the equation for us for us—it’s whether he can beat you.”
Carlos Lee doubled twice Monday for the Astros (21-23), who have lost four of their last five.