Giants rely on Lincecum in opener with Brewers

( - Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants look to get back on track Monday afternoon when they take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in the opener of a three-game set.

Lincecum enters the game with a 2.08 ERA, his lowest on the season to this point since 2010. The right-hander has not allowed an earned run in three of his four starts this month, holding opposing hitters to a .157 average in that span. He worked seven shutout innings against the Dodgers his last time out, allowing just three hits while striking out four and walking two batters.

"I have come to grips with the pitcher I am this year," Lincecum said. "I don't know what I'll be next year, but I know that along the way I can make adjustments. ... As time goes on, you find different ways to get outs. You come to grips you are not the same guy you once were."

Lohse is coming off back-to-back quality starts for the first time this season. The veteran right-hander went six innings in Detroit and gave up two runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out four.

This marks the start of a six-game homestand for Milwaukee. The Brewers are coming off a 4-6 road trip and managed just three hits in Sunday's 2-1 setback to the Atlanta Braves, their fourth loss in five games. One of those hits came off the bat of pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who issued five walks in 5 2/3 innings.

"That's not good enough. We're going to have to score more than that," manager Craig Counsell said. "We've got to find ways to get men on base. We've got to get our pitch and can't miss it."

Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez were both given the day off by Counsell. Braun will be back in the lineup to face Lincecum, whom he is hitting .320 (8- for-25) with a .720 slugging percentage and three home runs against lifetime.

San Francisco lost back-to-back outings in Colorado this weekend after winning its previous eight games. The Giants are coming off Sunday's 11-2 drubbing, in which Tim Hudson was charged with eight runs in only 3 2/3 innings. The Rockies broke the game open with an eight-run fourth inning and never looked back.

"I just wasn't very good," Hudson said. "They capitalized on some mistake pitches on my part. ... I have to put it behind me. (Coors Field) is never is an easy place to pitch, and (Sunday) was more challenging than most."

San Francisco won four of six meetings against the Rockies last season.