Chicago at San Francisco

Chi. Cubs
W: R. Dempster (10-8) L: T. Lincecum (11-6)
HR: CHC - K. Fukudome (10)   SF - None

Cubs 8, Giants 6 wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO -- With his team in the heart of a division race, San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum has picked the wrong time to go cold.

The two-time reigning NL Cy Young winner, once so dominant and automatic on the mound that he earned the nickname "The Freak," no longer blows opponents away with his sizzling fastball and knee-bending changeup. He is sputtering and at a loss to explain why.

"It's a number of things ... I really don't know how to explain it," Lincecum said after giving up six runs in four innings of an 8-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

"I'm struggling right now. I guess it's just going to be one of those things where I have to figure it out on my own. That's the only way I can look right now."

For Lincecum it was another in a series of disappointing starts this season.

The Cubs scored four runs in the first, two off Kosuke Fukudome's 10th home run of the season, then added two more off the Giants' ace in the fourth. The four runs were the most ever allowed by Lincecum in the first inning of his starts.

Lincecum altered his delivery in July in hopes of changing his luck but has had limited success since.

"He was just off tonight," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're going to need all these guys on the top of their game. It's going to happen, but I think Timmy will bounce back. We have all the faith in this kid."

That faith could begin to waver if Lincecum doesn't turn things around. Over his past five starts San Francisco's ace is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA. He has lost back-to-back starts for the third time this season.

"We had his pitch count up so I knew that looking up there he wasn't going to go that deep into the game," said Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell, who is filling in while manager Lou Piniella attends to family matters. "Give our guys some credit. We made him work a little bit."

The loss was a blow not just to Lincecum but San Francisco as well. The Giants fell 2½ games behind San Diego in the NL West and dropped into a tie with Cincinnati for the NL wild-card lead.

Starlin Castro drove in three runs while Aramis Ramirez added three hits for Chicago, which ended a season-high six-game losing streak on the road. It's only the Cubs' third victory in their past 15 games.

The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in extra innings, but scored four runs in the first off Lincecum (11-6) and never looked back. Chicago had scored only 10 runs in its previous four games before breaking out against the Giants.

Fukudome's 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot on the first pitch he saw, landed in the waters of McCovey Cove and gave Chicago a 4-0 lead.

Ryan Dempster (10-8) nearly let it all slip away, albeit with help from the Cubs' defense which committed errors in the first two innings. The Giants benefited and scored an unearned run in the first then pulled within 4-2 on Travis Ishikawa's RBI single in the second.

Lincecum settled down briefly but ran into trouble again in the fourth when he gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Castro, who had an RBI single in the first, followed with a two-out single to center to drive in Koyie Hill and Dempster, making it 6-2.

"Everybody in here has high expectations of themselves and when things like that happen you kind of wear it," Lincecum said. "Obviously this has been the year with most struggles for me, both mentally and physically, just trying to figure out my mechanics and just trying to feel through it."

Dempster gave up eight hits in 6 2/3 innings and settled down after a rough start. The right-hander retired 14 of the final 18 batters he faced and left after giving up a two-out single to Emmanuel Burriss and walking Aubrey Huff.

Reliever Andrew Cashner gave up Buster Posey's long fly ball to center that glanced off Tyler Colvin's glove for a double. Burriss and Huff scored, cutting the gap to 6-4, but Cashner struck out Pat Burrell to end the inning.

Pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot hit a two-run double off Guillermo Mota in the eighth to increase the Cubs lead to 8-4.

Chicago closer Chris Marmol made it interesting in the ninth when he gave up four hits, including an RBI double to Posey. Pablo Sandoval also drove in a run with an infield single but Marmol struck out Juan Uribe and got Ishikawa to ground out.


Posey finished with three hits and four RBI. ... As expected, the Cubs placed IF Derrek Lee on the bereavement list. Chicago also put C Geovany Soto on the 15-day DL and recalled IF Micah Hoffpauir and C Welington Castillo from Triple-A Iowa. Hoffpauir and Castillo arrived at the ballpark less than two hours before the 7:15 p.m. start. ... Piniella is expected to rejoin the team on Friday, according to Trammell. ... San Francisco grounded into two double plays and have 10 in its past five games. Overall, the Giants have hit into 115 twin-killings, second-most in the majors behind Minnesota. ... Aramis Ramirez recorded his 1,000th career RBI in the first inning when he singled in Castro. ... Dempster's single off Lincecum in the fourth was his sixth hit this season. He had eight for all of 2009. ... The six earned runs allowed by Lincecum are the second-most he has allowed in one game during his career. ... Giants SS Edgar Renteria left the game with a strained left bicep and will undergo an MRI.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

S. Castro
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
San Francisco

B. Posey
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Chicago Cubs
Tyler Colvin, CF4110112 .252
Starlin Castro, SS5123000 .310
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B5000023 .000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4131000 .228
Kosuke Fukudome, RF5122022 .256
Alfonso Soriano, LF5110003 .259
Blake DeWitt, 2B4010021 .275
Koyie Hill, C4220001 .203
Ryan Dempster, P2110010 .143
    Andrew Cashner, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1012000 .284
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Cashner in the 8th
2B - Mike Fontenot (11, Mota)
HR - Kosuke Fukudome (10, Lincecum)
SH - Ryan Dempster (13)
RBI - Starlin Castro 3 (36), Aramis Ramirez (54), Kosuke Fukudome 2 (29), Mike Fontenot 2 (20)
2-OUT RBI - Starlin Castro 2 (12), Mike Fontenot 2 (4)
SB - Tyler Colvin (4, 2nd base off Lincecum/Posey), Starlin Castro (6, 2nd base off Lincecum/Posey)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Castro-DeWitt-Hoffpauir, Castro-Hoffpauir
PB - Koyie Hill (3)
E - Starlin Castro (17, Throwing), Blake DeWitt (10, Misplayed grounder), Micah Hoffpauir (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster (W,10-8) 6.2843230 3.78
Andrew Cashner (H,6) 0.1100010 5.46
Sean Marshall 1100110 2.45
Carlos Marmol 1422010 2.75
WP - Andrew Cashner (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 109-73, Andrew Cashner 12-7, Sean Marshall 19-12, Carlos Marmol 32-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 12-5, Sean Marshall 1-1, Carlos Marmol 2-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 30, Andrew Cashner 2, Sean Marshall 5, Carlos Marmol 7
San Francisco Giants
Andres Torres, CF5000025 .287
Edgar Renteria, SS2110002 .278
    Emmanuel Burriss, 2B3220010 .500
Aubrey Huff, RF4100100 .300
Buster Posey, C5134000 .345
Pat Burrell, LF5010012 .257
Pablo Sandoval, 3B5031000 .268
Juan Uribe, 2B-SS5120024 .255
Travis Ishikawa, 1B5011005 .298
Tim Lincecum, P0000000 .094
   a- Nate Schierholtz, PH1010000 .244
    Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
   b- Aaron Rowand, PH0000100 .247
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
   c- Freddy Sanchez, PH0000100 .257
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Lincecum in the 4th
b-walked for Casilla in the 7th
c-walked for Mota in the 8th
2B - Buster Posey 2 (14, Cashner, Marmol), Juan Uribe (21, Dempster)
SH - Tim Lincecum (9)
RBI - Buster Posey 4 (42), Pablo Sandoval (45), Travis Ishikawa (21)
2-OUT RBI - Buster Posey 2 (15)
Team LOB - 11
Outfield Assists - Aubrey Huff 1
DP - Huff-Ishikawa
San Francisco Giants
Tim Lincecum (L,11-6) 4866141 3.41
Santiago Casilla 3100020 2.32
Guillermo Mota 1322020 3.50
Ramon Ramirez 1200000 4.05
HBP - Ramirez (by Santiago Casilla)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Lincecum 89-55, Santiago Casilla 27-20, Guillermo Mota 21-13, Ramon Ramirez 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Lincecum 5-3, Santiago Casilla 3-3
Batters Faced - Tim Lincecum 21, Santiago Casilla 10, Guillermo Mota 6, Ramon Ramirez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 35389
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Brian Gorman