Giants rely on Lincecum in opener with D-Backs

The NL West-champion San Francisco Giants have won each of Tim Lincecum's last four starts and try to make it five in a row Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Lincecum is 3-0 with a 2.52 earned run average in his previous four outings and pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings in a 6-3 win over Colorado last Tuesday, lifting his overall record to 10-14 in 31 starts with a 4.91 ERA. It's the first time this season the right-hander's ERA is below 5.00.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, who has won four of his last five decisions and received some extra days' rest, has dropped both meetings with the Diamondbacks this season and is 7-7 with a 3.08 ERA in 20 career starts against them.

San Francisco clinched its second division title in three years over the weekend, but failed to record a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres with Sunday's 6-4 loss. Clay Hensley was saddled with the loss in relief and starter Yusmeiro Petit allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings.

Xavier Nady had two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who had won six in a row and 10 of 11 games.

"I had a pretty good bench to work with," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after resting most of his starters.

The Giants are 6-1 on a 10-game homestand.

Arizona was aiming for a rare four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies last night, but was dealt a 4-2 loss.

Trevor Cahill got the start for the D-backs and yielded three runs -- two earned -- and nine hits in six innings. Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer for Arizona, which had won three straight and six of seven games, and sits 5 1/2 games off the final wild card berth in the National League with nine to go.

"We're just going to try and win as many games as we can. We've been in that mode for some time," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We'll try to win every game until the last win we play."

Rookie left-hander Tyler Skaggs was supposed to pitch tonight's opener against the Giants, but Josh Collmenter gets the nod. Collmenter has mostly pitched out of the bullpen and is 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 26 games (9 starts) this season. He has faced San Francisco eight times (3 starts) in his career, going 3-1 with a 4.88 earned run average.

Arizona is 8-7 against the Giants this season.