Tim Lincecum has allowed at least three runs every time he fails to pitch the San Francisco Giants into the win column.
Lincecum has permitted only one earned run in his two wins this season and will make his eighth start tonight in the conclusion of a two-game series versus the NL West-rival Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, lost at Los Angeles in Wednesday's 6-2 decision and was reached for four runs and eight hits in five innings of work.
The right-hander, who possesses great velocity for a man his size at 5-11, 170 pounds, fell to 2-3 on the season and saw his earned run average balloon to 5.89. Lincecum is 1-1 in three home starts in 2012 and will face Colorado for the second time this season after he lasted just 2 1/3 innings in a 17-8 loss at Coors Field on April 11. Lincecum avoided a losing decision that day and allowed six runs on eight hits. He is 8-6 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 career starts in this series.
San Francisco is counting on Lincecum to keep its winning streak alive and posted a third straight win with last night's 3-2 victory in the series opener. Ryan Vogelsong threw seven innings of one-run ball in the no-decision and Sergio Romo was credited with the win by getting the final out of the eighth inning. Santiago Casilla tossed the ninth for his eighth save.
Gregor Blanco ended 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, while Buster Posey and Brett Pill had two hits and an RBI apiece for the Giants, who opened a seven-game homestand on a positive note and won for the sixth time in nine tries.
"It's great to see the club playing a lot better here the last three days," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera went 0-for-4 and had his 11-game hitting streak snapped.
Colorado will close out an unsuccessful eight-game road trip tonight and wasted a solid effort from starter Christian Friedrich in Monday's loss. Friedrich was reached for only one run and six hits in six seven innings and struck out 10 batters with just one walk.
Rex Brothers took the loss for allowing the decisive run in the eighth.
"You can't be disappointed with this effort. You're disappointed with the outcome because we played a good ball game," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Wilin Rosario had an RBI and scored a run, and Jonathan Herrera ended with two hits for the Rockies, who have dropped four in a row and nine of 10 games. The Rockies are 1-6 so far on the road swing and will begin a five-game homestand tomorrow versus Arizona.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went 1-for-2 with two walks and was also hit in the left leg by a foul ball off the bat of teammate Dexter Fowler. X-rays taken after the game revealed no major damage and he is day-to-day.
Taking the mound for the Rockies tonight will be Jeremy Guthrie, who is in his first season with the ballclub. Guthrie has not pitched since April 22 because of a right shoulder sprain and was last in action in a 4-1 win at Milwaukee, as he fired seven innings of one-run ball and scattered three hits.
Guthrie faced San Francisco and opposed Lincecum in the aforementioned 17-8 Rockies win, but did not figure into the decision when he was battered for six runs and nine hits in only 3 1/3 innings. Guthrie is 0-1 with a lofty 9.64 earned run average in two career starts against the Giants and 2-1 in four starts overall this season (5.92 ERA).
San Francisco won two of three meetings with the Rockies from April 9-12 this season at Coors Field. The Giants have won 10 of the previous 12 matchups between the two NL West inhabitants.