National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 20th (All times eastern)
San Francisco Giants (51-41) at Philadelphia Phillies (41-52), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (3-10, 5.93) Philadelphia - Vance Worley (5-5, 3.47)
(Sports Network) - Tim Lincecum seeks to build off perhaps his best performance on what has so far been a disappointing season as the San Francisco Giants start up a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
A two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, Lincecum is just 3-10 through 19 starts this season with a 5.93 ERA. That includes a horrid 1-6 mark and 9.00 ERA in 10 on the road and the Giants are just 5-14 in his outings this season.
Lincecum, though, threw his second scoreless outing in four starts on Saturday, holding the Astros to five hits and a walk over a season high-tying eight innings. The right-hander also set a season best with 11 strikeouts, but did not factor into a 3-2 win.
Still, Lincecum avoided a third straight loss as he had yielded 13 earned runs in his previous two outings since throwing seven scoreless frames to beat the Dodgers on June 27.
"He's had a tough go but it's all about being resilient and bouncing back," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He did tonight and hopefully he'll carry this into the next game."
The 28-year-old is 4-2 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 career meetings with the Phillies and that includes a loss on April 16 at home. Lincecum never recovered from a four-run first inning and yielded five runs on eight hits over six frames.
The Phillies hope that Vance Worley can keep up his recent string of solid outings and move above .500 for the season. The righty is 5-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 15 starts and has yielded three runs or fewer in eight of his past nine games.
That includes a victory over the Rockies on Saturday, when he yielded two runs on eight hits and two walks over 6 2/3 frames. Worley also hit a two-run double at the hitter-friendly Coors Field.
"I don't mind hitting here," joked Worley. "I don't enjoy pitching here, it's funky. It's hard to breathe and you really have to make sure you get on top of the ball and direct it otherwise it's not going to do anything."
Worley, 24, has won both of his previous career starts against the Giants, pitching to a 2.25 ERA and striking out 11 over 16 innings. He will face them for the first time this season in Philadelphia's return home following a six- game swing.
The Phillies won four straight on the trip before wrapping things up with a 5-3 setback in 12 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Hunter Pence put Philadelphia ahead in the top of the 10th with a two-run single, but closer Jonathan Papelbon allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame before the Dodgers won it on Matt Kemp's walk-off homer in the 12th.
"This is tough, but we have to move on," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We won two series and we could have come home 5-1, but today we didn't get it done."
The Giants failed to notch a three-game sweep over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, falling 3-2. Madison Bumgarner allowed three runs -- two earned -- on three hits over seven innings to take the hard-luck loss for the Giants, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
"I felt like I threw the ball well," Bumgarner said. "I gave up three hits and unfortunately three runs, a couple of homers kind of got me there, but I felt like I threw the ball pretty good."
Still, the winning streak allowed the Giants to take their current 2 1/2-game edge over the Dodgers for first place in the NL West.
Emmanuel Burriss and Buster Posey had an RBI apiece for San Francisco, which was trying to sweep Atlanta on the road for the first time since June 27-29, 1988.
The Giants took two of three versus the Phillies at home from April 16-18.
07/20 10:38:24 ET