SAN FRANCISCO – Starlin Castro drove in three runs, Kosuke Fukudome homered and the Chicago Cubs battered San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum in an 8-6 win over the Giants on Tuesday night.
Ryan Dempster pitched into the seventh inning for his second straight win while Aramis Ramirez added three hits for Chicago, which ended a season-high six-game losing streak on the road. It's only the Cubs' third win in their last 15 games.
Lincecum, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young winner, lasted just four innings and gave up six runs, including Fukudome's two-run homer in the first. Over his last five starts San Francisco's ace is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in extra innings, but scored four runs in the first off Lincecum (11-6) and never looked back. Chicago had scored just 10 runs in its previous four games before breaking out against the Giants.
Castro had an RBI single in the first then hit a bases-loaded single in the fourth to drive in two more.
Fukudome's 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot on the first pitch he saw, landed in the waters of McCovey Cove and gave Chicago a 4-0 lead. It is the first time in Lincecum's career he has allowed more than three runs in the first.
Dempster (10-8) nearly let it all slip away, albeit with help from the Cubs' defense which committed errors in the first two innings. The Giants benefited and scored an unearned run in the first then pulled within 4-2 on Travis Ishikawa's RBI single in the second.
Lincecum settled down briefly but ran into trouble again in the fourth when he gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Castro, who had an RBI single in the first, followed with a two-out single to center to drive in Koyie Hill and Dempster, making it 6-2.
For Lincecum it was another in a series of disappointing outings this season. He allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings and lost consecutive-starts for the third time this season. San Francisco's ace altered his delivery in July in hopes of changing his luck but has had limited success since.
The Giants fell 2 1-2 games behind San Diego in the NL West. San Francisco also dropped into a tie with Cincinnati for the NL wild card lead.
Dempster gave up eight hits in 6 2-3 innings and settled down after a rough start. The right-hander retired 14 of the final 18 batters he faced and left after giving up a two-out single to Emmanuel Burriss and walking Aubrey Huff.
Reliever Andrew Cashner gave up Buster Posey's long fly ball to center that glanced off Tyler Colvin's glove for a double. Burriss and Huff scored, cutting the gap to 6-4, but Cashner struck out Pat Burrell to end the inning.
Pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot hit a two-run double off Guillermo Mota in the eighth to increase the Cubs lead to 8-4.
Chicago closer Chris Marmol made it interesting in the ninth when he gave up four hits, including an RBI double to Posey. Pablo Sandoval also drove in a run with an infield single but Marmol struck out Juan Uribe and got Ishikawa to ground out.
Notes: Posey finished with three hits and four RBI. ... As expected, the Cubs placed IF Derrek Lee on the bereavement list. Chicago also put C Geovany Soto on the 15-day DL and recalled IF Micah Hoffpauir and C Welington Castillo from Triple-A Iowa. Hoffpauir and Castillo arrived at the ballpark less than two hours before the 7:15 p.m. start. ... Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who is away from the team while attending to family matters, is expected to rejoin the team on Friday according to bench coach Alan Trammell. ... San Francisco grounded into two double plays and have 10 in its last five games. Overall the Giants have hit into 115 twin-killings, second-most in the majors behind Minnesota. ... Aramis Ramirez recorded his 1,000th career RBI in the first inning when he singled in Starlin Castro. ... Dempster's single off Lincecum in the fourth was his sixth hit this season. He had eight for all of 2009. ... The six earned runs allowed by Lincecum are the second-most he's allowed in one game during his career. ... Giants SS Edgar Renteria left the game with a strained left bicep.