Tim Lincecum has shown signs of returning to his dominant form, and the San Francisco Giants hope the right-hander can help get them back on track.
San Francisco will send the two-time Cy Young Award winner to the mound as it seeks its fifth straight win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night in the opener of a six-game road trip.
After winning four straight - including a three-game sweep of San Diego at AT&T Park - the Giants (13-9) lost 3-2 in 10 innings to Arizona on Wednesday for their second straight extra-inning home defeat.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford was one of the bright spots, ending a 2-for-17 slump by going 3 for 4 with a game-tying homer in the ninth and two RBIs to push his batting average back up to .320.
"Here's a kid who keeps getting better and better," manager Bruce Bochy said. "The confidence has grown with him. I like the way he's using the whole field and driving the ball."
Bochy's club looks to snap a three-game road skid behind Lincecum (2-0, 3.97 ...