Rookie southpaw Donovan Hand gets a 19th try at a first major-league victory on Thursday afternoon when the Milwaukee Brewers visit AT&T Park for the finale of a three-game series with the host San Francisco Giants.
A 27-year-old native of Alabama, Hand has shuttled between starting and relieving thus far in his inaugural season - making 12 apparances out of the bullpen along with six starts.
The Brewers have won just four of the 18 games he's pitched and have been outscored, 11-3, in the three starts that have ended in defeats.
He allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings of his most recent starting assignment on Aug. 3 in Milwaukee, a 3-0 loss to Washington in which he walked a batter, struck out three and saw his earned run average tick slightly upward from 3.56 to 3.60.
Hand has pitched six and seven innings in his last two outings and has surrendered a combined six runs on 13 hits.
He has never faced the Giants.
The rookie is opposed by veteran Tim Lincecum, who's not won in three starts since twirling his first no-hitter on July 13 in San Diego.
Lincecum was drilled for eight runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings by the Cincinnati Reds just nine days after the gem, then combined to give up three runs in 10 hits in 14 innings of his last two starts - both no-decisions in 2-1 San Francisco losses - against the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay.
The Giants have won just one of Lincecum's last 10 starts - the no-hitter - and have scored only 12 runs in the nine losses.
Lincecum is 3-3 in nine career starts against Milwaukee.
On Wednesday, Norichika Aoki capped a four-run eighth with a two-run single and the Brewers took advantage of a sloppy inning from the Giants to win, 6-1.
It could, however, be a costly victory for the Brewers.
Second baseman Rickie Weeks grabbed his left hamstring while grounding out in the eighth inning and was helped off the field. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Weeks suffered a strained hamstring and it's possible he could go on the disabled list.
Khris Davis homered and pinch-hitter Martin Maldonado singled in a run in the ninth, but the big play came in the eighth on Madison Bumgarner's error. Marco Estrada, who was activated off the disabled list, allowed one hit over the first five innings for the Brewers. Bumgarner (11-7) gave up five hits and four runs in seven-plus frames.
Milwaukee registered a three-game sweep of San Francisco from April 16-18 at Miller Park and had won four straight in this series until Monday.