Lincecum, Godfrey kick off Bay Bridge series

June 17, 2011, 1:59 pm
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June 17, 2011

GIANTS (39-30) vs.
A's (30-40)

Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet

OAKLAND (AP) -- Tim Lincecum hasn't pitched like a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner this month. Facing the Oakland Athletics again could help him get back on track.

Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants visit their geographic rivals Friday night when they meet the Athletics in the opener of the latest chapter of the Bay Bridge Series.

The Giants swept a three-game set from the A's last month in San Francisco, highlighted by a dominant outing from Lincecum (5-5, 3.41 ERA), who tossed a three-hitter and fanned six en route to the 3-0 win May 21.

"I'd say it's got to be right up there with his best performance," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after Lincecum's 133-pitch outing.

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Nicknamed "The Freak," Lincecum won his next game but has been quite hittable after that, posting a 9.39 ERA while going 0-1 in three starts.

The right-hander couldn't pinpoint a reason for his poor results.

"I don't feel like it's fatigue, I don't feel like I'm getting tired. I don't feel like anything is broken. I just feel like it's a matter of just getting back to being me," Lincecum said after lasting a season-low four innings at home, where he was reached for career high-tying seven runs, seven hits and four walks in a 10-2 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday.

Lincecum could quickly shake off his struggles given that he's 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA in six starts against the A's, and 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA at the Coliseum.

However, he didn't pitch last season in Oakland, where San Francisco (39-30) was held to one run while losing all three games in May.

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Rookie Graham Godfrey (0-0, 10.38) will make his second start for the Athletics. The right-hander, who was recalled last Friday to replace the injured Brett Anderson, surrendered five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings of Oakland's 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.

"In the middle of my outing, I was attacking hitters and getting ahead. That's what made me more successful," Godfrey said.

The victory was the first for interim manager Bob Melvin, who replaced the fired Bob Geren on June 9. Melvin is a Bay Area native, played collegiately at California and with the Giants from 1986-88.

San Francisco failed to complete a three-game sweep of Arizona after a 3-2 loss in 10 innings Thursday. Pat Burrell's sacrifice fly in the ninth tied the score 2-all, but Santiago Casilla served up a walkoff homer to Justin Upton.

The loss reduced the Giants' lead in the NL West to 1 12 games over the Diamondbacks.

"It is good to come in and get the series," Bochy said. "We were real close to getting this last one."

Last-place Oakland (30-40) comes in having won two straight and is 3-4 under Melvin following an 8-4 victory over Kansas City on Thursday. Rookie second baseman Jemile Weeks - brother of Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks - had two hits, drove in three and is batting .344 (11 for 32) since being recalled June 7.

The A's batted .183 against the Giants last month, and .238 under Geren. The team is hitting .245 since Melvin took over.