Giants manager Bruce Bochy is hoping that ace Tim Lincecum can get on one of his dominating stretches. An interleague matchup with the Athletics could be the catalyst to such a run.
Lincecum aims to improve on his excellent career numbers in this series as San Francisco and Oakland conclude a three-game series, with the Giants looking to stretch their home winning streak in this rivalry to 12 straight contests.
The two-time National League Cy Young-winnning Lincecum is just 2-3 with a 5.77 earned run average in eight starts this season and has struggled in May after closing out last month with consecutive wins. He is 0-1 with a 5.82 ERA in three starts this month and did not factor into the decision of a 5-4 loss to the Rockies on Tuesday, one that Bochy saw as an improvement.
The right-hander hurled a season-high 122 pitches and was charged with four runs, seven hits and three walks over seven frames with seven strikeouts.
"It was one of those starts where he made some mistakes and didn't get away with them," Bochy said of Lincecum. "But I see him getting better and better."
Lincecum split two games versus the A's last year and the 27-year-old is 5-1 against them lifetime with a 1.38 ERA in seven matchups.
The A's counter with veteran Bartolo Colon, who is 0-3 over his past five starts.
Colon, who turns 39 on Thursday, has struggled in back-to-back losses, charged with seven earned runs over 2 1/3 frames of a defeat to Detroit on May 10. He then allowed four runs on a season-high 12 hits in a 4-0 setback at the Angels on Tuesday.
The righty has allowed seven homers over his winless drought after yielding only one over his 3-1 start to the campaign. That leaves him 3-4 with a 4.13 ERA in nine starts this year.
Colon is 1-1 with a 5.65 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.
San Francisco stretched their home winning streak over Oakland to 11 in a row on Saturday with a 4-0 victory. Ryan Vogelsong threw seven scoreless innings and allowed the Athletics' only hit of the game, a single to Seth Smith with one out in the fifth, and the Giants plated all four of their runs in the seventh frame, one that saw the ejection of A's manager Bob Melvin.
Vogelsong was the big story though, fanning five while throwing 62 of his 97 pitches for strikes, lowering his ERA on the season to 2.27 while helping the Giants win their third straight and sixth in their last eight games overall.
"At the end of last year and in spring training, that's a big goal of mine for the season is to have another solid year," Vogelsong said. "...I still have a lot to prove."
Vogelsong was also at the center of Melvin's ejection as the Oakland manager came out to argue after the Giants pitcher was awarded first base on a bunt attempt after the home-plate umpire ruled he was hit by the pitch. Melvin disagreed, argued and later had words with the umpire again following a pitching change, leading to his ejection.
"Obviously Bob felt that there was no way that the ball hit him and that was a big part in the game because it's a low-scoring game at that time. Any break for either team right there really has the momentum to probably win the game," Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson said.
Melky Cabrera brought home the first run of the game with a sac fly and Buster Posey's ground-rule double scored Vogelsong. Angel Pagan then finished off the burst with a two-run single.
Oakland starter Tyson Ross was charged with two runs on seven hits and four walks in six-plus frames for the A's, who have dropped four of their last five.
Oakland holds a slim 45-43 advantage overall in this series, but comes in under .500 at 19-26 on San Francisco's home field.
Each team recorded a three-game sweep at home in last year's six-game series and the Athletics haven't won in San Francisco since finishing off a three- game sweep on June 15, 2008.