With a key series against the division leader looming, Lincecum could help the Giants gain a share of first place in the West when they face the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
San Francisco (77-61) was trailing first-place San Diego by 6 1/2 games as recently as Aug. 25. The Giants have won three straight and five of their last six to get within one game of the Padres, who ended a 10-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Dodgers Monday.
After concluding this series Wednesday, The Giants begin a four-game set at San Diego on Thursday before meeting again in San Francisco for the final three games of the regular season next month.
Until then, Lincecum (12-9, 3.68 ERA) can pull San Francisco level atop the West, as it bids for its first division title in seven years. The Giants haven’t been in first place since May 6.
The hard-throwing right-hander is hoping he’s put a difficult stretch behind him after a superb performance in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Colorado. Lincecum outpitched 18-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez(notes), a top contender for this year’s Cy Young. He allowed one run and five hits with nine strikeouts in eight innings, ending a career-high five-game losing streak that saw him post a 7.82 ERA.
“This is going to be a big month for us,” Lincecum said. “I’m going to try to take that momentum into the next series.”
He’s 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 12 starts against the Diamondbacks (56-82), losers of three straight. However, his most recent outing versus Arizona was the last of his five consecutive losses, as he allowed four runs over six innings of a 6-0 defeat Aug. 27 while being bested by rookie Barry Enright(notes) (6-2, 2.45).
The right-hander scattered six hits in seven innings in that matchup, and he’ll start opposite the San Francisco ace again.
Enright is 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA in nine starts since a loss to Florida on July 11. He played a role in the Giants’ surge toward first place in his most recent start Wednesday, yielding two runs in seven innings of a 5-2 win over the Padres.
He’s also facing a San Francisco club that has won five of six despite a .181 batting average during that span.
The Giants’ Buster Posey(notes) has a .333 average with one homer and six RBIs over the last 10 road games, hitting safely in nine of them. The rookie catcher had a timely two-out hit in the 11th Monday before Schierholtz followed with his winning triple.
Posey is 3 for 6 with a double off Enright.