Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants
- The Cubs have yet to win a road series this season, and their 8-17 road record is third worst in baseball. However, they swept their last series at San Francisco, outscoring the Giants 6-3 in the lowest-scoring series ever between Chicago and San Francisco.
- The Giants have the best May record in the NL at 15-7. The last time San Francisco won more than two-thirds of its games in May was 1983 (19-7). The key to San Francisco's success has been its pitching: the Giants' 2.83 ERA (65 ER/207.0 IP) leads the majors this month.
- Anthony Rizzo has gone just 2-for-22 (.091) over his last seven games, but he still leads the team and ranks sixth in the league with 84 times on base, thanks in large part to his 37 walks, which lead the NL.
- Michael Morse drove in four runs yesterday, giving him 33 RBI after he had 27 RBI in 88 games last season. Morse's improvement from 11.6 AB/RBI last season to 5.0 AB/RBI this season is the second-biggest improvement in the NL, minimum 2 PA/team game (Jimmy Rollins).
- Jeff Samardzija's 1.46 ERA (11/68) is by far the lowest in the last 100 years for a pitcher with no wins in his first 10 starts of a season. The next-lowest ERA since 1914 was Bill Piercy's 2.69 for the 1923 Red Sox.
- Yusmeiro Petit has faced the Cubs six times in his career, all from 2006-09. In two appearances at Wrigley Field, Petit went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, allowing three hits in seven innings. In four home appearances against the Cubs, Petit is 1-1 with a 7.90 ERA (12 ER/13.2 IP).
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- Rays' Archer takes another shot at Ortiz
- Pirates' Worley 4-hits Giants in 5-0 win
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- After a terrific showing on the mound, the San Francisco Giants are set to give the ball to Tim Lincecum.
While the former two-time Cy Young Award winner didn't have his best stuff last week, he still found a way to get a victory.
Lincecum tries to win back-to-back starts for the first time as the Giants close a three-game home set against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
Major league-leading San Francisco (33-19) has won five of six by a 29-13 margin after beating Chicago 4-0 on Tuesday. Tim Hudson threw seven strong innings and Buster Posey drove in two runs.
"They have a very professional team, fundamentally sound ballclub - who knows when and where to apply pressure," losing pitcher Jake Arrieta said. "Their approaches are very sound. They all seem to be tough outs."
The Giants now turn to Lincecum (4-3, 4.55 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA in his last five home starts. The right-hander issued a season-high six walks and five hits over six innings Friday but managed to limit the damage, holding Minnesota to two runs in a 6-2 victory.
"You have to battle when you have less than your best stuff," he told MLB's official website. "The defense played great behind me and the offense was going. It was an ugly win but I'll take it."
Lincecum threw two wild pitches and just 57 of his 112 pitches for strikes.
"With good pitchers like that, they figure out how to get outs when they need to," Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "Obviously, Lincecum, he knows what he's doing out there and what he's got to do to get guys out. He gets in a situation like that and sometimes he gets better."
Lincecum is 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA in seven starts against the Cubs dating to 2009. Starlin Castro has hit him hard, going 7 for 19 with a homer and two doubles.
The Cubs (19-31), owners of the worst record in baseball, have dropped four of seven. First baseman Anthony Rizzo is mired in a 5-for-31 slump while Castro is 4 for his last 29.
"You have to tip your hat," said manager Rick Renteria, whose team went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position Tuesday. "We weren't able to put a whole lot together."
Edwin Jackson (3-4, 4.94) is looking to bounce back after getting knocked around in Friday's 11-1 loss at San Diego. The right-hander was tagged for a season-high eight runs and nine hits over four innings in his shortest outing of the year after recording a 1.80 ERA in his previous three starts.
"It was a terrible job of making adjustments all around. When you don't make adjustments quick enough, that's what happens," he said. "If you don't execute pitches, it really doesn't matter what team it is, they can hit the ball hard."
Jackson is 1-2 with a 4.99 ERA in five starts against the Giants since 2010. He will need to be wary of Pablo Sandoval, who is 7 for 13 with a homer and two doubles against him.
Sandoval is batting .364 with five homers and 13 RBIs in the last nine games. He's a career .317 hitter against the Cubs.
"He's a guy that can hit a ball out of the zone," Renteria said. "You have to adjust with him, make him see balls at different levels and try to keep him off balance. ... He's a tough hitter, very good hitter."
Updated May 28, 2014