The Giants are four games behind Arizona for first place in the division and split a four-game series versus the Houston Astros this weekend. They had a modest two-game winning streak stopped with Sunday's 4-3 defeat in 11 innings, as Ramon Ramirez allowed the go-ahead run to absorb the loss.
Matt Cain started for San Francisco and held the Astros to a pair of runs in eight innings of work. Aubrey Huff had two hits and an RBI and Carlos Beltran finished 2-for-5 for the defending World Series champions, who lost for the sixth time in 10 tries and are 3-3 on a 12-game homestand.
"Plenty of games left. We're not even in September yet," said Giants second baseman Jeff Keppinger. "We just got to keep battling."
Tim Lincecum will try to shave the NL West deficit when he takes the mound Monday in search of his 13th win of the season. Lincecum is 12-10 with a 2.46 earned run average in 27 starts and has won six of his last nine trips to the hill, including a 2-1 decision over San Diego on Wednesday. He fired eight innings of one-run ball and struck out seven batters. The righty has fanned at least seven hitters in three straight starts.
Lincecum is 5-5 in 13 starts at home and 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA in eight career starts against the Cubs.
Chicago has lost four in a row and seven of eight games, and was swept in a three-game set at Milwaukee this past weekend. In Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Brewers, Casey Coleman was on the mound and suffered the loss, allowing three runs and six hits in seven innings of work.
"Casey threw the ball well, but he couldn't quite matc[Zack] Greinke pitch for pitch," said Cubs manager Mike Quade, who was ejected by home plate umpire Bill Miller for arguing balls and strikes in the first inning. "He pitched a real good game against a great hitting team."
Tyler Colvin homered and Darwin Barney recorded two hits and an RBI for the Cubs. Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts and saw his 16- game hitting streak come to an end. The Cubs have lost five straight road games.
Randy Wells will start for the Cubs tonight and he's 5-4 with a 5.53 ERA in 17 starts this season. He has won four of his last five decisions, spanning seven starts, and is coming off a 3-2 win over Atlanta on Wednesday. Wells allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings of work and struck out six batters. '
Wells, a right-hander, is 2-2 in seven road assignments this season and 1-1 with a 5.50 ERA in three career starts against the Giants.
San Francisco and Chicago have split six meetings this season, all of which have taken place at Wrigley Field.