Giants-Dodgers Preview

The San Francisco Giants have dealt with their share of

adversity lately, though it hasn’t prevented them from battling

with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead.

Neither have the seemingly constant struggles of Tim

Lincecum.

The right-hander looks to help San Francisco extend its division

lead over Los Angeles by earning his first victory at Chavez Ravine

in five starts when the rivals continue their series Tuesday

night.

San Francisco (67-55) reclaimed its position atop the West with

a 2-1 victory Monday, moving one-half game ahead of the Dodgers

(67-56). Pablo Sandoval drove in both runs for the Giants, who are

3-2 since losing NL hits leader Melky Cabrera to a 50-game

suspension.

Lincecum (6-13, 5.45 ERA), though, has dropped consecutive

starts after another short outing, allowing four runs in four

innings of Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to Washington, marking his sixth

start of less than five full innings. He had six such outings

spanning 66 starts over the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined.

“I just know that I have to go back out there in five more games

and then go to work again,” Lincecum told the team’s official

website. “It’s easy to put this behind me when I know that it’s

just going to motivate me to work hard.”

The right-hander had one of his better outings of the season

when he allowed four hits in seven innings of a 3-0 win over the

Dodgers on June 27 to end a six-start winless streak versus the

division rival.

Lincecum, though, is 0-3 with a 4.18 ERA over his last four

starts at Chavez Ravine after giving up four runs in five innings

of 6-2 loss May 9. He’ll look to end that winless streak Tuesday

against a Los Angeles team once again looking to reclaim the

division lead.

The Dodgers mustered only a ninth-inning homer from Hanley

Ramirez in Monday’s loss, ending a three-game winning streak

against the Giants.

”Anytime you play the Giants, obviously it’s a big game,

especially right now when we’re right in the middle of a pennant

race,” said Clayton Kershaw, who suffered the loss despite

allowing two runs and striking out 10 in eight innings. ”But

losing (stinks) no matter what. And tonight didn’t feel any better,

that’s for sure.”

Los Angeles will look to bounce back with the help of Joe

Blanton, who is still seeking his first victory in a Dodgers

uniform.

Blanton (8-11, 4.96) dropped to 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in three

starts since being acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 4, giving up

a season-worst eight runs in 4 1-3 innings of Thursday’s 10-6 loss

to Pittsburgh. He was then ejected while arguing with the home

plate umpire as he walked off the field after being pulled.

The right-hander is winless in two starts versus the Giants this

season and is 1-4 with a 5.58 ERA in his last seven outings against

San Francisco.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he likely won’t have Buster

Posey catch Tuesday, possibly placing him at first base or in the

outfield. It’s also possible Posey, who has caught only two of

Lincecum’s last 11 starts, receives the day off.