The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner looks to prevent that from happening while trying to help the wild-card leading Giants hand the Chicago Cubs a seventh straight road loss Tuesday night.
Lincecum (11-5, 3.15 ERA) allowed three runs on two homers in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to NL East-leading Atlanta on Thursday. The right-hander, 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his previous five starts after losing two straight from June 27-July 2, has dropped back-to-back outings twice this season.
He had gone 67 starts without giving up multiple home runs before his last start.
The Cubs (47-65) have not enjoyed many good swings against Lincecum, 3-2 with a 2.55 ERA and a .199 opponent batting average in six starts versus Chicago. However, he hopes for more support than his last outing against the Cubs when he gave up two runs and struck out seven in seven innings of a 3-0 home loss Sept. 25.
Chicago has been held to 10 runs during a four-game skid, including a 4-3 loss to the Giants (64-49) in 11 innings Monday, and has dropped 11 of 12.
The Giants have a one-game lead over Philadelphia and St. Louis for the wild card. They are 1 1/2 games behind NL West-leading San Diego.
Pat Burrell(notes) had two hits and drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly Monday as San Francisco rebounded from a 2-4 road trip to win its fourth consecutive home game. Burrell is 11 for 30 with seven RBIs in his last 10 games.
Burrell is a .320 hitter with five doubles against Chicago’s Ryan Dempster(notes) (9-8, 3.76), who will try for a second straight victory after allowing three runs and three hits in six innings of a 15-3 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Though the right-hander is 1-7 with a 4.59 ERA in 11 starts versus San Francisco, Dempster went 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two during 2009.
Starlin Castro(notes) had two hits in the opener for the Cubs, who could not hold on to a pair of leads. One of the few bright spots during Chicago’s disappointing season, the rookie shortstop is batting .387 in his last 25 games.
Looking to avoid losing seven straight on the road for the first time since May 19-June 2, 2009, the Cubs are without first baseman Derrek Lee(notes) and catcher Geovany Soto(notes) for the series. Lee was placed on the bereavement list to be with his ill grandfather, while Soto is on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder ligament.
Chicago bench coach Alan Trammel, meanwhile, continues to manage the team while Lou Piniella remains in Tampa, Fla., with his ailing mother. There is no timetable for when Piniella might rejoin the club.