Colorado (69-62) at San Francisco (73-60)

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  • Game info: 9:15 pm EDT Wed Sep 1, 2010
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Instead of anticipating another tantalizing matchup between NL West aces, Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) and Tim Lincecum(notes) both enter their latest duel desperate for a victory.

Recent results have been especially troubling for Lincecum, who spent August losing a career-worst five consecutive starts for the San Francisco Giants.

Jimenez, meanwhile, will take his fifth shot at a franchise-record 18th win as the Colorado Rockies try to take the three-game series at AT&T Park on Wednesday night.

Lincecum (11-9, 3.80 ERA) has won the last two NL Cy Young Awards, and Jimenez (17-5, 2.71) has pitched like a contender for that honor for much of this season.

Both right-handers, though, have been frustrated lately - particularly Lincecum, who is eager to begin a new month after going 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA in five August starts. He has already set a career high in losses.

“I’m pretty ready for (September),” Lincecum said after Friday’s 6-0 loss to Arizona. “This has been one of those things you have to take with a punch and just roll with it. It’s not fun to go through. You have to fight through it. The last thing I want to do is give up or give in to what’s going on now.”

Lincecum won’t be satisfied with another September like last year, when he was 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA, his worst month in terms of both record and ERA.

His Dominican counterpart hasn’t been pitching poorly, but Jimenez is 0-3 in four outings - all quality starts - since matching Colorado’s single-season record for wins Aug. 4 against San Francisco. During that stretch, Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia(notes) has taken the major league lead in victories.

Minimal run support and bullpen problems have plagued Jimenez lately. He led 1-0 entering the eighth inning Friday against the Dodgers, but gave up three runs before departing Colorado’s 6-2 defeat.

“I don’t even think about No. 18,” Jimenez said. “I want to find a way to keep the game close. I just want to win.”

Jimenez is 2-0 against the Giants this season, including a four-hitter in a 4-0 road win over Lincecum on May 31, but he also gave up a season-high seven runs to San Francisco on July 3, with Travis Ishikawa’s(notes) grand slam providing the biggest blow.

Lincecum and Jimenez have often brought out the best in each other. Each pitched seven shutout innings in a 1-0 Colorado win June 11, 2008, and they traded low-scoring victories in a six-day span in August 2009.

Each team hopes its ace can deliver a helpful victory in the playoff chase.

The Giants (73-60) pulled within four games of NL West-leading San Diego and remained 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the wild card after Tuesday’s 5-2 victory, breaking a late tie when Andres Torres’(notes) home run sparked a three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth.

“That was kind of a gut-check,” catcher Buster Posey(notes) said. “Guys came back and fought hard. That’s what we’re going to have to do.”

It has still been a somewhat disappointing nine-game homestand for San Francisco, which is 4-4 entering Wednesday’s finale.

The Rockies (69-62), who won the series opener 2-1, have a chance to win their first road series since June 28-30 at San Diego. Since the All-Star break, they’ve gone 8-18 away from home, losing six of their seven road series and splitting a four-game set at Pittsburgh.

Colorado faces a tougher climb than does San Francisco in order to reach the postseason, trailing the Padres by seven games and the Phillies by 4 1/2.

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Starting Pitchers

U. Jiménez Bal vs. T. Lincecum SF
19-8 Record 16-10
2.88 ERA 3.43
214 K 231
92 BB 76
1.15 WHIP 1.27


Wednesday, Sep 1