Lincecum takes the mound Friday night as the NL West-leading Giants go for their fourth straight win over the last-place San Diego Padres.
San Francisco (53-40) finally seems to have figured out San Diego (40-53), which won three of the first four meetings this season. The Giants have won three straight since, including a 6-2, 12-inning win Thursday.
San Francisco was held scoreless until Aubrey Huff’s(notes) tying homer off Heath Bell(notes) in the ninth. Mike Fontenot(notes) brought in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the 12th before the Giants added four more runs.
It was only the third time in the last nine games they scored more than three runs.
“Huge for us. We’re looking at a 1-0 loss there,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We needed something like that to save us and he did with the home run.”
San Francisco hopes the offense won’t take as long to wake up for Lincecum (7-7, 3.06 ERA), who has been hurt by the team’s scoring woes.
Lincecum ended the first half slightly behind pace of his record at last year’s All-Star break. He was 9-4 with a 3.16 ERA after the first half of 2010.
While his record is far from impressive, Lincecum has pitched very well lately with a 2.03 ERA over his last five starts. He improved to 2-2 during that stretch after giving up one run in six innings of a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday.
The Giants have scored five total runs over Lincecum’s last five starts while supporting him with 3.2 runs in the first half. They averaged 6.0 runs during his starts before last year’s All-Star break.
The San Francisco ace will try to avoid another slow start coming out of the break after going 2-5 with a 5.17 ERA in his first nine outings to start the second half of 2010.
Lincecum gave up one run in seven innings of an 8-4 win April 6 at Petco Park, but allowed three runs in five innings of a 5-3 defeat at home July 4.
He is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA in San Diego, giving up one run in each of the last three starts there.
Lincecum’s success at Petco doesn’t bode well for the Padres’ chances of snapping their season high-tying six-game losing streak. They’ve scored four runs in the last five games.
San Diego will hand the ball to Dustin Moseley(notes) (2-8, 3.21), who is winless in his last five starts, all Padres losses. He surrendered four runs and struck out a career-high nine in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-5, 14-inning loss to the Giants on July 6.
The 7 1-3 innings tied the longest outing of his career. In his previous two starts, he failed to make it out of the sixth.
Pablo Sandoval(notes), who is 0 for 2 against Moseley, extended his hitting streak to 22 games Thursday with a single in the first. It’s the longest streak by a Giants player since Jack Clark hit safely in a franchise-record 26 consecutive games in 1978.