Giants-Marlins Preview

The Associated Press

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy is confident that Tim Lincecum will regain his All-Star form soon. Miami Marlins starter Josh Johnson already has.

While Lincecum will try to get back on track Friday night in Miami, Johnson will seek a third straight win.

Lincecum (2-4, 6.04 ERA) has allowed four runs in each of his last three outings and didn't make it past the fourth inning in Sunday's 6-2 loss to Oakland. He used up 90 pitches in those four frames and gave up all of his runs in that final inning.

Lincecum finished up that frame after a collision at the plate with the A's Collin Cowgill following a wild pitch. After the game, Bochy said he wasn't thinking about skipping the right-hander for one start or sending him to the bullpen.

"He throws too well at times to make any move like that," the manager told the team's official website. "Every time he goes out there, I think he's going to have a nice game. He's so close to doing that."

Lincecum is 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA in three career starts against the Marlins (24-21), all of which have come on the road. But he's never had to face Johnson (2-3, 4.82), who is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA over his last two starts.

The right-hander, who was limited to nine games in 2011 because of an inflamed right shoulder, had one of his best outings Sunday in Cleveland, allowing one run and five hits while pitching seven innings for the third straight time.

"J.J. will be completely back. It's not a matter of if it happens, but when," utilityman Greg Dobbs said. "He will flat-out dominate again. He's a horse. And when he gets there, watch out."

Johnson hasn't earned a win in five career outings against the Giants (24-21) despite providing a quality start each time. He's received a combined eight runs of support while going 0-3 with a 3.18 ERA.

Johnson's only home start against San Francisco came May 31, 2006. This time, he'll take on a Giants team that's won nine of 13 and five of six on the road.

San Francisco earned the latest of those victories in Thursday's series opener with its best performances at the plate this season. The Giants had a season-high 15 hits in the 14-7 win, scoring their most runs since beating Detroit 15-3 on July 2.

Melky Cabrera had three hits and four RBIs, while Angel Pagan also drove in four during a 2-for-5 night.

Those performances helped hand Miami back-to-back defeats for the first time this month and spoiled another strong performance from Omar Infante. The Marlins second baseman had his second four-game hit game since May 14 and is batting .483 over his last seven contests.

Giancarlo Stanton added three hits, including a solo homer, and three RBIs to give him eight over his last four games for the Marlins, who are 16-7 in May.

Infante is 4 for 11 in his career against Lincecum, while Stanton went 0 for 2 with a strikeout during a 3-0 loss Aug. 13.

Pagan, who has hit safely in 33 of 35 games, is 4 for 15 against Johnson, while Cabrera - batting .440 over his last 22 games - is 2 for 10.

Friday's game marks the one-year anniversary of Giants catcher Buster Posey's collision with then-Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins, which led to a broken leg that sidelined the former NL Rookie of the Year for the rest of the season.

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