Giants hope for another Lincecum gem in middle tilt with Marlins

( - Tim Lincecum looked like the pitcher who was a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner his last time out. He'll try to duplicate that performance on Saturday when the San Francisco Giants continue their three-game series with the Miami Marlins at AT&T Park.

Lincecum entered his last start against Atlanta with the NL's second-worst opponents' batting average (.329). However, he held the Braves hitless through 4 1/3 innings and finished the night having allowed one run on two hits while striking out 11 over 7 2/3 innings - his longest outing of the season - to improve to 3-2, while lowering his ERA to 4.78.

"I was able to keep my pitch count down relatively and that allowed me to have that leash to get out there in the seventh and eighth inning, which I've been looking for," Lincecum said after throwing 70 of his 113 pitches for strikes.

It was Lincecum's first game with 10 or more strikeouts this season and the 36th such game of his career.

Lincecum has faced the Marlins five times and is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA.

Miami, meanwhile, will counter with an equally effective hurler of its own in righty Tom Koehler, who is 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA.

Koehler entered his last start having not allowed a run in his previous two outings, but was hit hard by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday to the tune of four runs and six hits in just 3 2/3 innings.

He also walked five batters in the loss.

"Very disappointing," Koehler said. "I really struggled with command of breaking pitches. I threw some good fastballs, but when you're not throwing breaking pitches for strikes, they're able to eliminate it, and in situations like that, they're able to sit on the fastball and you hang a breaking ball to a guy (Yasiel Puig) who swings (at the) first pitch and he crushes it. It's a crushing blow in the game."

Koehler is 1-0 in two starts versus the Giants with a 3.00 ERA.

On Friday, Casey McGehee singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and Miami eked past the Giants, 7-5.

Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich, who both homered earlier in the night, both reached to start the ninth, and McGehee slapped a one-out base hit to right off Santiago Casilla (1-1) to knock in Yelich and break a 5-5 tie.

Garrett Jones' infield single pushed across Dietrich for an insurance run, and Steve Cishek closed the door in the bottom half to post his eighth save.

Yelich scored four times, Jarrod Saltalamacchia broke out of an 0-26 slump with four hits and Mike Dunn (4-3) pitched a scoreless eighth to pick up the win for the Marlins, who won for only the second time in eight tries.

"It's been a tough go for us...but we don't quit," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Pablo Sandoval doubled twice, drove in a run and scored another to highlight the Giants' offense, but it wasn't enough as the club fell to 10-5 during its stretch of 17 games in 17 days.

"Today just didn't go our way," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The Marlins, who won four of seven matchups between these teams a season ago, have won 13 of their last 17 at AT&T Park.