The San Francisco Giants haven’t won a season series from the Oakland Athletics since 2001. They’re probably sending the right guy to the mound to try to change that this year as the Bay Area rivals renew their rivalry.
The Giants will turn to reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum(notes) on Friday night when they face the Athletics and rookie Vin Mazzaro(notes), who has yet to allow a run through two outings.
Oakland (27-32) went 4-2 against San Francisco (31-28) last year, and has not lost the season series since going 2-4 eight years ago. The Athletics have won seven straight road meetings.
One of the losses for Oakland last season came to Lincecum (5-1, 2.96 ERA), who gave up five hits and struck out 11 on June 28, 2008, in a 1-0 victory that ended the Giants’ seven-game overall losing streak to the Athletics.
That is Lincecum’s only victory in five interleague starts. He is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in two career outings versus Oakland, and 1-1 with a 6.33 ERA in interleague play.
Lincecum is having another strong year, going unbeaten since his second start of the season. The Giants have dropped three of his last five outings, though, and the right-hander won Sunday by giving up two runs over 7 1-3 innings in a 3-2 victory at Florida.
“The first seven went pretty well,” Lincecum said. “I had a tough time finding the strike zone but when I needed to I got outs.”
His opponent will be a rookie making his third career start in Mazzaro (2-0, 0.00), who made his major league debut June 2 against the Chicago White Sox by yielding three hits over 6 1-3 innings to earn a 5-0 win.
Mazzaro followed that up with another impressive effort Sunday against Baltimore, giving up five hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 3-0 victory.
“I was definitely more relaxed,” Mazzaro said. “That first game really helped.”
The 22-year-old right-hander was 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 games, nine starts, with Triple-A Sacramento before being called up. Mazzaro was a third-round pick in 2005.
Oakland (27-32) won for the eighth time in 10 games Thursday by rallying for a 4-3 victory in 10 innings over Minnesota. The A’s scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie the game and won it on Rajai Davis’(notes) RBI single in the 10th.
“Pitching and defense kept us in it this time,” Davis said. “We were able to find a way. We might not have had the best offensive day, but we got there when it counted.”
San Francisco completed a 6-4 road trip with a 2-1 loss at Arizona on Thursday. Aaron Rowand(notes) had two of the four hits by the Giants, who were held in check after scoring a total of 15 runs in the first two games of the series.
“It’s been a good road trip,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I’m sure the boys are ready to get home.”
The hottest hitter for San Francisco over the last few days has been Pablo Sandoval(notes), who went 7 for 12 with three RBIs in the series versus the Diamondbacks. Sandoval is hitting .370 (34 for 92) with 17 RBIs over his last 25 games.