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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 2015 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 West6468.48510 ½ 4-6 L 1
San Francisco2nd NL West6963.5235 ½ 3-7 L 4
vs Tim Lincecum
vs Jason Marquis

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Game Odds
San Diego 165 San Francisco -175
San Diego
Y. AlonsoBack
T. FederowiczKnee
J. JohnsonElbow
S. KelleyArm
C. LuebkeElbow
B. MaurerShoulder
B. MorrowShoulder
W. MyersWrist
D. NorrisUndisclosed
San Francisco
J. AffeldtKnee
M. CainElbow
B. CrawfordCalf
T. LincecumForearm
J. PanikBack
H. PenceOblique
M. ScutaroBack
Series Game Log
Apr 21SFSF 6-2Lincecum Anderson 
Apr 22SFSF 3-2Casilla Hatcher 
Apr 23SFSF 3-2Casilla Nicasio 
Apr 27LADLAD 8-3Frias Lincecum 
Apr 28LADSF 2-1Bumgarner Kershaw 
Apr 29LADLAD 7-3Greinke Vogelsong 
May 19SFSF 2-0Hudson Frias 
May 20SFSF 4-0Lincecum Anderson 
May 21SFSF 4-0Bumgarner Kershaw 
Jun 19LADSF 9-5Heston Bolsinger 
Jun 20LADSF 6-2Hudson Frias 
Jun 21LADLAD 10-2Anderson Lincecum 
Aug 31LADLAD 5-4Hatcher Broadway 
Sep 1LADLAD 2-1Greinke Bumgarner 
Sep 2LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 28SF10:15 PM EDT  
Sep 29SF10:15 PM EDT  
Sep 30SF10:15 PM EDT  
Oct 1SF 3:45 PM EDT