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San Diego at San Francisco

Venue: AT&T Park

Had Tim Lincecum put together simply a mediocre first half of the season, the San Francisco Giants would likely own a sizable lead atop the NL West.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is now pitching like he's expected to, and his team is rolling.

Lincecum looks to continue his impressive turnaround and help the first-place Giants sweep the San Diego Padres on Wednesday at AT&T Park.

San Francisco (55-42) lost 14 of Lincecum's 18 starts before the All-Star break, yet still ended the first half facing just a half-game deficit behind Los Angeles in the division.

With Tuesday's thrilling 3-2 victory over the Padres, the Giants won for the ninth time in 11 games since the Midsummer Classic to open up a 2 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers. They've won both of Lincecum's starts in that stretch, and the right-hander has looked sharp each time.

After throwing eight shutout innings in a 3-2, 12-inning victory over Houston on July 14, Lincecum (4-10, 5.72 ERA) gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings of Friday's 7-2 win at Philadelphia.

"Building consistency," said Lincecum, who still owns the NL's highest ERA. "Two good outings behind me. Now onto the next one and use this as a springboard."

He would seem to have a good chance of making it three in a row considering the matchup. He has a 0.39 ERA in winning his last three home starts against the Padres, and a 1.90 ERA in 10 career outings against them at AT&T Park.

Although the Giants are feeling better about Lincecum, they may be concerned regarding Pablo Sandoval, who left Tuesday's game with a strained left hamstring. The injury occurred in the third inning when Sandoval, playing first base for the slumping Brandon Belt, went into the splits to complete a sensational double play.

Sandoval, who ranks third on the team with a .299 average, had a run-scoring double in the first inning, his sixth two-bagger in the last nine games. He is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday.

Belt, mired in a 2-for-34 slump, replaced Sandoval and started the Giants' ninth-inning rally with a leadoff walk. Angel Pagan followed with a single, the two moved up on a passed ball and Brandon Crawford singled to win the game.

San Francisco improved to 6-2 against the Padres this year, and has won 10 of 12 meetings at AT&T Park. The Giants own the majors' second-best home record at 31-16, and have won a season-high six straight games in San Francisco.

The Padres (41-58) arrived in the Bay Area winners of seven of nine, averaging 5.4 runs in that stretch, but they've managed just three runs and 11 hits in the first two games of this series. They're 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position after hitting .358 in such situations in their previous six games.

Scheduled starter Jason Marquis (3-5, 3.79) benefited from San Diego's offense Friday, when he gave up five runs - three earned - and nine hits in five innings of a 9-5 victory over Colorado.

Signed to a minor league contract in late May, the right-hander made his Padres debut June 7 against the Giants, yielding four runs - two earned - and nine hits in six innings of an 8-3 loss. Buster Posey, who was 0 for 4 Tuesday after batting .513 with 17 RBIs in his first 10 games after the break, went 2 for 3 with a homer against Marquis.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Jason Marquis, RHP
2012 stats
88.2 Innings Pitched 111.2
5-9 Wins-Losses 4-10
5.58 Earned Run Average 5.72
30 Walks 53
60 Strikeouts 121
91 Pitches Per Start 100
Career vs. opponent
93.2 Innings Pitched 133.1
5-5 Wins-Losses 10-4
3.07 Earned Run Average 2.03

Tim Lincecum, RHP
weather image  Clearing skies. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
San Diego4th NL West6892.425235-5 L 2
San Francisco2nd NL West8575.53166-4 W 2
vs Tim Lincecum
vs Jason Marquis

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Inside the Numbers
Game Odds
San Diego 165 San Francisco -175
San Diego
C. BethancourtRibs
J. BlashFinger
C. CappsElbow
J. CosartElbow
J. EdwardsElbow
R. ErlinElbow
J. GuerraUndisclosed
E. JohnsonElbow
J. JohnsonElbow
C. ReaElbow
T. RossShoulder
C. SpangenbergQuadriceps
C. VargasForearm
J. WeeksHamstring
San Francisco
R. BlackUndisclosed
K. BlanksAchilles
I. GardeckElbow
C. HestonOblique
E. NunezHamstring
M. WilliamsonQuadriceps
Series Game Log
Apr 7SFSF 12-6Heston Wood 
Apr 8SFSF 3-2Casilla Blanton 
Apr 9SFLAD 3-2Hatcher Kontos 
Apr 10SFSF 9-6Cueto Coleman 
Apr 15LADLAD 7-3Kershaw Bumgarner 
Apr 16LADSF 4-3Cueto Kazmir 
Apr 17LADLAD 3-1Maeda Samardzija 
Jun 10SFLAD 3-2Kershaw Casilla 
Jun 11SFSF 5-4Stratton Jansen 
Jun 12SFSF 2-1Peavy Urias 
Aug 23LADLAD 9-5Maeda Bumgarner 
Aug 24LADLAD 1-0Hill Cueto 
Aug 25LADSF 4-0Moore Stripling 
Sep 19LADLAD 2-1Blanton Lopez 
Sep 20LADSF 2-0Cueto Hill 
Sep 21LADLAD 9-3Maeda Moore 
Sep 30SFSF 9-3Bumgarner McCarthy 
Oct 1SF 4:05 PM EDT  
Oct 2SF 3:05 PM EDT