Lincecum (0-1, 3.86 ERA) may have failed to pick up a win for the Giants (6-8) in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Arizona (6-9), but the 24-year-old right-hander was outstanding in scattering five hits with a career high-tying 13 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings.
Davis (1-2, 2.57) was just as effective, giving up eight hits in eight innings to get his first win.
“Couldn’t ask for anything more, except for nine innings,” said Davis, who lost his two previous starts while allowing six runs and 11 hits in 13 innings. “I was getting ahead and I had a curveball today that I threw a lot. It was fun.”
Lincecum showed vast improvement from his first two starts of the season. He battled a stomach ailment in those games and allowed seven runs and 14 hits while fanning 10 in 8 1-3 innings.
“My landing point was off the last few outings and I just needed to figure out what I was doing wrong,” Lincecum said after not getting a decision Saturday.
His inconsistent start to 2009 is in stark contrast to last season, when he went 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 29 1-3 innings in his first five outings. That impressive run led to an 18-5 record, a 2.62 ERA and a major league-leading 265 strikeouts, joining Mike McCormick (1967) as the only Giants to win the Cy Young.
“I have higher expectations than anyone else, more than the fans, more than my dad,” Lincecum told the Giants’ official Web site. “I want to do better than any of them want me to do.”
Lincecum will try to help the Giants win a fourth consecutive game after Bengie Molina’s pinch-hit RBI double in the 10th inning gave them a 1-0 victory over San Diego on Wednesday. The winning streak started Sunday as San Francisco took two of three from the Diamondbacks.
The Giants, though, have dropped 15 of their last 20 at Arizona, getting swept in four games during their last visit there Sept. 15-18.
Lincecum is 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 52 1-3 innings over seven starts in Phoenix.
Davis is looking to lead the Diamondbacks to consecutive victories after they took two of three from Colorado, winning 2-0 on Wednesday.
The left-hander is 4-5 with a 4.12 ERA in 15 games against San Francisco. He hasn’t received much help in his last four starts against them, going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA while getting five runs of support.
Arizona ranks among the worst in baseball with a .226 batting average, a .294 on-base percentage and 54 runs. The Diamondbacks have been held to two or fewer runs nine times, winning only two of those games.