The Giants got a surprise shutout from starter Barry Zito on Monday to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1950. If Tim Lincecum can flash his Cy Young form tonight, they should have their first winning streak of 2012.
Lincecum looks to rebound from a tough opener on Wednesday night as San Francisco plays the middle test of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies.
The right-handed Lincecum, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, got the Giants' season off on a bad foot, giving up five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings of a setback at Arizona on Friday. Though he struck out seven to just one walk, Lincecum was tagged for a pair of homers in the first inning, a two-run shot and a solo blast.
"I got a little mad," Lincecum said. "Giving up three runs in that first inning is not the way to start a season, so I just tried to bear down and grind through."
The 27-year-old split a pair of decisions versus the Rockies last season with a 2.70 earned run average and is 4-3 in his career with a 3.61 ERA in 10 starts at Coors Field.
The Giants were actually swept in that three-game series with the Diamondbacks, but were never in danger of dropping a fourth straight thanks to Zito. The left-hander allowed just four hits while going the distance in Monday's 7-0 series-opening win, facing the minimum in five innings, including the last two, to record his first shutout since April 19, 2003 against the Rangers. He was pitching for the Oakland Athletics at the time and was coming off winning the AL Cy Young Award the previous year.
"He kept us off-balance," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said.
The 33-year-old Zito, on the heels of a tough spring, made a start in the minors last week and said that went a long way toward helping him get back on track.
"I made the adjustment I had to make," he said.
Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer and Brandon Crawford had a three-run double for the Giants.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin threw 90 pitches in just four innings and gave up four runs on four hits and five walks to take the loss in the team's home opener.
The Rockies, who fell to 1-3, started a nine-game homestand.
Colorado has lost three straight since Jeremy Guthrie pitched it to a season- opening win over the Astros last Friday in his Rockies debut, and he'll try to play stopper this evening.
The 33-year-old right-hander logged seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks. He settled down after allowing back-to-back homers in the fourth.
"The one inning they got a couple home runs I fell behind without quality pitches," said Guthrie. "Luckily I was able to bounce back."
Guthrie will be facing the Giants for only the second time in his career. He took a loss in San Francisco on June 16, 2010 while with Baltimore after getting charged with four runs on eight hits and two walks over six frames.
The Giants won seven of their last eight games against the Rockies last season and 13 of 18 overall. They won six of nine in Colorado.