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Preview: Cubs at Giants

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tim Lincecum looks to regain his recent dominant form when he leads the host San Francisco Giants into the finale of a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. In his first start following his 148-pitch no-hitter at San Diego on July 13, Lincecum was pounded for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. He and the Giants try to salvage the last game of the set after dropping the first two meetings in painful fashion.

San Francisco blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning Friday, when first baseman Brandon Belt committed a two-run error. On Saturday, the Giants missed a handful of prime scoring opportunities in the late innings and saw Chicago's Nate Schierholtz deliver a solo homer in the top of the ninth to lift the Cubs to a 1-0 win. With the losses, San Francisco has fallen into a last-place tie in the National League West.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Travis Wood (6-7, 2.95 ERA) vs. Giants RH Tim Lincecum (5-10, 4.73)

Wood has just one win in his last nine starts and has thrown 5 2/3 innings in his last two outings after lasting at least six frames in 18 of his first 19 appearances. He gave up a season-high four earned runs and eight hits at Arizona on Tuesday. The southpaw is 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

Lincecum has made 11 career starts against the Cubs and his ERA of 3.69 against them is the second-highest among teams he has faced at least 10 times. The 29-year-old struck out two against Cincinnati on Monday after fanning 24 in 16 innings over his previous two outings. He also gave up three home runs for the first time in 2013.

WALK-OFFS

1. Cubs SS Starlin Castro is 6-for-17 with two doubles and a home run against Lincecum.

2. Giants RHP Sergio Romo has taken the loss in both games of the series.

3. San Francisco has hit a total of three home runs in its last 23 home contests.

PREDICTION: Giants 4, Cubs 3

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130728/preview-cubs-at-giants