(SportsNetwork.com) - Tim Lincecum tries to build upon his best start of the season on Sunday, as the San Francisco Giants attempt to salvage the finale of a three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
After going 0-1 with a 9.90 ERA through his first two starts Lincecum was far better against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, holding them to a run and five hits over five innings. He also struck out five without walking a batter and saw his ERA dip to 7.20.
"I wanted to stay aggressive in the strike zone," said Lincecum, who has struck out 17 batters while issuing just one walk in 15 innings this season.
Lincecum, who, of course, threw a no-hitter at Petco Park last season, has enjoyed a modicum of success versus the Padres, going 13-6 with a 2.40 ERA in 26 games.
San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Robbie Erlin, who is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA. Erlin lost to Colorado on Tuesday, as he allowed three runs and six hits in just 4 2/3 innings. He also matched a career-high with seven strikeouts.
San Diego got back to .500 on Saturday, as Eric Stults tossed six solid innings and Chris Denorfia came up with a key late RBI, as the Padres eked out a 3-1 win. Everth Cabrera hit a run-scoring triple and Yonder Alonso drove in the other run for San Diego, which has won seven of 10 overall.
Stults (1-2) allowed a run on three hits to best Tim Hudson (2-1), who gave up eight hits and a pair of runs over seven full frames.
"Right now we're in a nice run of starting pitching," Padres manager Bud Black said. "There's been some solid work by our starters. Starting pitching is so important to a team's success. They're doing their part."
Mike Morse's fifth-inning solo shot was the only meaningful offense for the Giants, who have lost three in a row.
"The only way to get hits is to swing the bat," Morse said. "Right now, I don't think we're pressing. I don't think we are trying to do anything out of the ordinary. I just think we hit a rough spot. Our team is too good for us to be stuck in this for too much longer."
Saturday marked the sixth time this season the Padres pitching staff has allowed one run or less, tied for the most such games in franchise history through 18 team games (also 2008, 1988, 1975).