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SD@SF: Lincecum shines in a victory over Padres

The first series of the 2012 edition of the National League's deepest rivalry will draw to a close with a rubber match featuring a pair of the Senior Circuit's top right-handers.

Tim Lincecum takes the ball for the Giants aiming to continue the momentum he has gained after opening the season with three subpar starts. Lincecum is coming off a no-decision last Friday against the Brewers in which he allowed three earned runs on two hits over five innings. However, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA (four earned runs allowed in 18 innings) with 17 strikeouts in his last three starts.

Yet one issue for Lincecum has been his walk total. He has issued 13 free passes in his last three outings. With the thump in the heart of the Dodgers' order, Lincecum will have to minimize the self-inflicted wounds. To date, he has somewhat avoided damage from the Dodgers' biggest hitters in Matt Kemp and Andre Either. The duo owns a combined .275 average (19-for-69) with two home runs, both by Ethier, and seven RBIs.

Though Lincecum is just 5-4 lifetime against the Dodgers, his other numbers speak to recent dominance of his rivals. Despite going 0-3 against the Dodgers in 2011, Lincecum posted a 1.83 ERA and a .234 opponents' average in five starts versus Los Angeles last season.

Meanwhile, Chad Billingsley is looking to get back on the winning track coming off a loss to the Cubs on Friday. Billingsley went six innings, but allowed four runs on eight hits, keeping him winless since April 11. After starting the season with back-to-back wins, Billingsley is 0-2 with a 4.83 ERA.

Billingsley owns a 7-5 record and 3.24 ERA in 24 career games (19 starts) against San Francisco, but was roughed up by the Giants in 2011. The right-hander went 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA and .303 opponents' average in four starts versus the Giants last season.

Giants: Melky on a mulithit roll
Melky Cabrera has notched a multihit game in five of his last seven games and seven of his last 13 games dating back to April 25. Cabrera's 14 mulithit games this season rank third in the Majors behind Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (16) and Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (15). Cabrera is hitting .327 (20-for-61) with one home run and five RBIs on the road this season.

• The Giants have hit just three home runs in their last 10 games, but their pitchers have been equally stingy. San Francisco pitchers have surrendered only one home run in their last 11 games, and 15 home runs this season.

Dodgers: Loney's playing time in doubt
James Loney has been relegated to a platoon role, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Loney, who is hitting .211 with one home run and seven RBIs this season, has drawn the dismay of Mattingly, who wants to see more consistency from the first baseman.

"He's been inconsistent, obviously," Mattingly said of Loney. "Last night, he crushes a ball. It's day to day with James."

Loney was in the lineup Tuesday, thanks to his 4-for-9 record against Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong. Loney made the most of the opportunity by going 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Worth noting
• Clayton Kershaw's streak of 12 consecutive winning decisions at Dodger Stadium came to an end Tuesday. Kershaw has a 1.57 ERA and four complete games (two shutouts) in his last 17 home starts.

• Giants starting pitchers have held opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 19 of their last 20 games. Comments