Giants-Brewers Preview

Tim Lincecum managed to avoid his first career three-game losing

streak once this season. The San Francisco Giants hope their ace

can do it again.

The two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner tries for his

first win in two weeks while looking to help the Giants to a third

straight victory Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Lincecum (8-4, 3.28 ERA) dropped two straight starts in late

May, then went 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his next four outings. Since

that winning run, however, he is 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA.

The right-hander, who became the first Giants pitcher to earn

three consecutive All-Star selections since Hall of Famer Juan

Marichal, allowed four runs and walked four in six innings of a 6-3

loss at Colorado on Friday.

“Obviously I have high expectations for myself, as do a lot of

players in here,” Lincecum told the Giants’ official website. “It

is tough to accept things when you’re going through mental

struggles. It’s almost hard to take compliments and such. I’m the

biggest critic of myself. … Most people would say that I’m kind

of knocking myself, but I just have high expectations.”

Facing the Brewers could make ending the skid tough for

Lincecum, 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in five starts versus Milwaukee.

The Giants (43-40), however, won the first two of this four-game

set at Miller Park. Travis Ishikawa drove in two runs and rookie

Madison Bumgarner tossed eight scoreless innings Tuesday in San

Francisco’s second consecutive 6-1 victory over the Brewers.

San Francisco benefited from two Milwaukee errors Tuesday,

including one by shortstop Craig Counsell that led to a five-run

sixth inning for the Giants. The Brewers have committed five errors

in their last three games.

“You have to take advantage of them,” said Giants manager Bruce

Bochy, whose team is 17-7 versus the NL Central this season.

Ishikawa is 6 for 16 with seven RBIs in his last four games.

Rookie Buster Posey drove in his second run in as many games

Tuesday and is batting .375 in his last seven contests.

San Francisco has won five of six at Milwaukee (37-47), which

hopes to get back on track after being outscored 19-3 during a

three-game skid that followed a 12-5 rout of St. Louis on

Saturday.

The Brewers have batted .170 and recorded 16 hits during their

skid, managing only four Tuesday. All-Star Ryan Braun is 0 for 12

over the last three games but 6 for 13 with two home runs against

Lincecum.

A day after Milwaukee placed ace Yovani Gallardo on the disabled

list with a left oblique strain, Chris Narveson (7-5, 5.29) takes

the ball looking to bounce back after giving up four runs in five

innings of a 5-0 loss at St. Louis on Friday.

“I think you try and take positives from it,” Narveson told the

Brewers’ official website.

The left-hander is making his first start versus San Francisco,

but threw 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief against the Giants last

season.