A slow start cost Tim Lincecum a chance at his second victory of the season last time out. The right-hander will look to carry over a strong finish into Saturday night's outing when the San Francisco Giants continue a three-game series with the San Diego Padres.
Lincecum gave up four runs in the first inning of Sunday's meeting with the Chicago Cubs, the only runs he allowed over his five-inning outing. He yielded six hits -- two of those homers -- and struck out four in the no-decision as the Giants' offense took him off the hook with a four-run sixth inning.
The 28-year-old did not factor into the decision of a second straight outing after winning his season debut versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 3 despite walking seven over five innings. He walked another four batters in his next start versus Colorado, but issued only one free pass against the Cubs.
Lincecum has faced the Padres 22 times in his career, going 10-5 with a 2.44 earned run average while striking out 162 in 144 innings.
It has been the opposite going for the Padres' Clayton Richard, who struggled in his first start of 2013 before turning in back-to-back solid outings.
The lefty was tagged for seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings of a loss to the New York Mets on April 3, then held the Dodgers to a pair of runs over five innings of a no-decision on April 9.
Against the Rockies on Sunday, Richard scattered two hits and four walks over scoreless innings, striking out four while getting a no-decision in his club's 2-1 loss.
The 29-year-old is 6-5 lifetime versus the Giants with a 3.86 ERA in 12 starts.
After getting swept in a three-game series by the Milwaukee Brewers, the Giants rebounded to win Friday's opener with the Padres by a 3-2 margin. It came in dramatic fashion as Angel Pagan drove in Andres Torres for the winning run in the ninth inning.
After hitting into a fielder's choice in the frame, Torres stole second to get into scoring position before Pagan roped a hit to right field for the win.
"You want to get your job done, but I forgot about that (after the hit)," Torres said.
Buster Posey and Hunter Pence each drove in a run for the Giants, while Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 and gave up two runs on four hits over six innings. Santiago Casilla pitched 1 1/3 innings without a blemish to get the win.
Playing in his second game since coming off the disabled list, Chase Headley hit a solo homer and drove in both San Diego runs. Headley had missed the start of the season due to a fractured left thumb.
Starter Edinson Volquez gave up two runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts over six innings for the Padres, who had swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in three games in their previous series but lost for the sixth time in nine contests.
"Volky got out of some jams," said Padres manager Bud Black. "I thought the curveball was effective against the lefties and he threw some good changes. But overall, I thought it was better than his first three starts."
The Giants have taken the season series against San Diego in each of the last two years, winning 12 of 18 meetings both times.