The San Francisco Giants fired on all cylinders during a long winning streak, but several poor outings from their starting rotation has left them staring at a potential three-game skid.
Following the worst of those starts, San Francisco tries to avoid a seventh loss in eight games at Miller Park on Monday when it opens a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Giants (25-20) enjoyed eight straight wins prior to Saturday’s 5-3 loss in Colorado. They scored 7.63 runs per game over the streak and had several outstanding pitching performances, including a three-game scoreless streak against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That momentum was completely derailed Sunday in an 11-2 loss to the Rockies as Tim Hudson surrendered eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. San Francisco’s starters have posted a 10.57 ERA in the last three games.
Tim Lincecum (4-2, 2.08 ERA) looks to put the Giants back into the win column after notching scoreless outings in three of his last four starts. Outside of allowing three runs in 4 2/3 innings May 14 against Cincinnati, Lincecum has surrendered nine hits and no runs while striking out 16 in 21 innings this month.
The right-hander tossed three-hit ball over seven innings Wednesday in a 4-0 victory over the Dodgers.
For a pitcher that followed four dominant seasons with three subpar ones, Lincecum hopes to have finally settled in with his new approach.
"I have come to grips with the pitcher I am this year," Lincecum told MLB’s official website. "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."
Lincecum is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last six starts against the Brewers, but Ryan Braun is 8 for 25 with three home runs in their matchups. Braun is hitting .311 with 12 homers in 50 games against San Francisco.
Milwaukee (16-29) fell 2-1 in Atlanta on Sunday for its fourth loss in five games. Braun and Aramis Ramirez were both rested and the Brewers managed only three hits — one from pitcher Jimmy Nelson — to wrap up their 4-6 road trip.
"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."
The Brewers have had success in Milwaukee against the Giants, winning six of the last seven meetings, but sit at the bottom of the NL with only eight home victories.
Kyle Lohse (3-4, 5.53) takes the mound following two solid outings to rebound from a difficult start to the season. After posting a 7.03 ERA through seven starts, Lohse has allowed two runs and nine hits over his last 14 innings.
The right-hander was shelled by San Francisco on Aug. 31, yielding nine hits and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings. Hunter Pence went 4 for 5 with three runs and two RBI in that contest, and has eight runs and seven RBI in nine games since returning from injury this season.
Pence is 16 for 50 (.320) with four doubles and a triple against Lohse, while Angel Pagan is 6 for 14.