San Francisco (86-67) moved one-half game ahead of San Diego in the West after a 13-0 rout of the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, coupled with the Padres’ losing in Los Angeles. The Giants are 3 1/2 games ahead of Colorado, which has lost four in a row including a three-game sweep this week at Arizona.
Colorado (82-70), also 3 1/2 behind Atlanta in the wild-card race, had won 13 of 15 before dropping the last four contests on a six-game road trip. The Rockies could be helped by returning to Coors, where they are 51-24 on the season and have won nine of 12 over the Giants.
“We can’t keep our head down,” said Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez(notes), who hit a grand slam and drove in six runs during a 10-9 loss at Arizona on Thursday. “We have to continue to play hard and see what happens.”
The Rockies face a San Francisco club that has won 14 of 21 as Lincecum (14-10, 3.60 ERA) is again pitching like a two-time defending NL Cy Young award winner.
After going 0-5 with a 7.82 ERA in August, the right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA this month.
“I’m trying to keep my emotions together,” said Lincecum, who has struck out 32 and walked four over his last 26 2-3 innings. “It’s about keeping your composure, no matter what happens.”
The right-hander began the month by allowing a run and striking out nine to outpitch Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) in a 2-1 home win over the Rockies on Sept. 1. However, Lincecum is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA versus Colorado this season and 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA in his last four starts at Coors.
Giants pitchers have gone 17 straight games giving up three or fewer runs.
The 22-year-old rookie right-hander threw eight scoreless innings during Saturday’s 12-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chacin also has pitched well against San Francisco this season, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
Giants shortstop Juan Uribe(notes) is 0 for 7 against Chacin, but enters this series on a high after hitting a grand slam and a two-run homer during a nine-run second inning Thursday. Uribe had only two hits in his previous 21 at-bats before his big inning.
Sanchez, who had four hits Thursday, is 12 for 28 in his last seven games. He’s batting .340 in 11 games versus Colorado this season.
Gonzalez, a potential NL MVP contender, is hitting .342 with 33 homers and 113 RBIs, but only .242 in the season series against the Giants.
The Rockies hold an 8-7 edge in the season series.