Tim Lincecum tries to pitch the San Francisco Giants to a series win on Sunday when they wrap up a four-game set against the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park.
Lincecum, of course, has endured a nightmare season, going just 7-13 with a 5.30 ERA. However, the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner resembled his former self his last time out on Tuesday in Los Angeles, as he held the Dodgers to a run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"In the bigger scheme of things, I'm just trying to erase whatever I did in the first half and try to have a better second half," Lincecum said. "You can't change anything that happened. You just worry about making better pitches now."
Lincecum has faced the Braves 10 times and is 6-4 against them with a 3.12 ERA.
The Braves, meanwhile, counter with an impressive hurler of their own in righty Tim Hudson, who is 12-4 on the year with a 3.69 ERA. Hudson did not get a decision on Monday in Washington, as he allowed four runs - all in the first inning - and seven hits in six innings of 5-4 loss.
Of the 59 runs he's allowed in 134 innings this season, 20 have come in the first.
"It's a combination of me not making some pitches and then a little bit of luck on their end," Hudson said. "It's a situation that I'm just not quite making good enough pitches in those situations."
Hudson, who is 6-0 in his last nine starts, beat the Giants back on July 19 and is 7-4 lifetime against them with a 3.29 ERA in 16 starts.
After losing the first two games of this set, Atlanta rebounded on Saturday, as Jason Heyward hit a three-run home run and Michael Bourn had two RBI to lead the power the Braves past the Giants, 7-3.
Martin Prado and Reed Johnson also knocked in runs for Atlanta, which won for only the second time in eight games.
Mike Minor (7-10) allowed three runs on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings to snap a personal three-start losing streak.
"I'm pleased with the way Minor pitched today. Better than pleased really, ecstatic, and pleased with the offense," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Gregor Blanco drove in a pair of runs for the Giants, who had their five-game win streak come to an end and saw their lead atop the NL West dwindled to two games with the Los Angeles Dodgers beating Miami.
Madison Bumgarner (14-8) surrendered four runs on seven hits and four walks through 6 1/3 innings to take the loss.
"I felt pretty good the first couple innings, and then the wheels kind of fell off for me," Bumgarner said. "I was able to battle through it and get some outs, but you can't pitch that way, not feeling confident with your stuff and not being able to put the ball where you want to."
The Giants have won five of their last eight versus the Braves.