SAN FRANCISCO -- The same pitchers from last Sunday's game were on the mound, but Friday's matchup produced opposite storylines.
The Giants only managed three hits in a 3-0 loss to the Rockies in the Tim Lincecum-Tyler Chatwood rematch, as a pair of two-out RBI singles and a sacrifice fly were enough to back a strong follow-up performance from Chatwood.
While the explosive Giants offense took advantage of an inconsistent Chatwood in an 8-3 win last Sunday at Coors Field, Chatwood silenced the Giants lineup for three hits in five innings in his second start this season.
"You saw it; we got shut out," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Timmy was fine. We just weren't swinging, it's pretty simple. You keep talking about it until sometimes they start thinking about it, but it'll be up to us to figure it out soon. We had a couple chances, and they got some timely, two-out hits and we didn't."
Returning from a weeklong road trip that saw a revitalized offense show life after an anemic 10-game homestand, the Giants looked more like the team that was unable to muster more than five hits in the last six games of that homestand, rather than the one that outscored opponents 57-26 in its recent road stint.
"We go into every game with the same amount of confidence. It doesn't matter where we're playing," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "We just haven't seemed to get hits here lately, so hopefully we'll get some these next few games."
But the good news for the Giants was the consistent storyline of Lincecum, who carried over his strong start from Denver to San Francisco, giving up three earned runs on six hits in seven innings pitched. He was far from dominant, but worlds from the erratically ineffective Lincecum that went 3-10 with a 6.42 ERA in the first half.
Despite frequently getting behind in counts throughout the game, Lincecum notched his fifth quality start in his past six starts.
"He wasn't quite as sharp as he has been since the All-Star break, but he settled down and pitched great." Bochy said. "I was pleased with the way he kept us in the game. Sure, they got a couple big two-out hits, and it's important for him to get ahead like all pitchers, and tonight he wasn't quite hitting his spots as well as he has been. But still, you look at the result, it's pretty good. You take that quality start, seven innings."
The go-ahead run came in the third when Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler singled with runners on first and third to drive in DJ LeMahieu. The Rockies got one more in the fourth when Wilin Rosario scored from third base on Tyler Colvin's single after Rosario had reached on a double and advanced on Jordan Pacheco's groundout to Lincecum.
"I could have done better in those at-bats, especially against Colvin," Lincecum said. "I just needed to be more aggressive with two strikes -- not necessarily in the zone, but with bouncing pitches and making smarter pitches. If I had done that, I might have gotten out of it a little better. I gave them too many pitches to hit that weren't quality strikes."
The Giants had a chance to get on the board in the fifth when Crawford singled to center with one out, advancing Ryan Theriot from first base to third. But the inning ended with Lincecum striking out and Crawford getting thrown out at second, all with Theriot charging home.
The Rockies generated another run in the seventh when Colvin singled to left and then stole second base. He advanced to third on LeMahieu's sacrifice bunt before scoring on Chris Nelson's sacrifice fly.
Chatwood, who was called up from Double-A before last Sunday's game, improved from his season starting debut in which he battled control issues to allow three runs (one earned) and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
"He kept us off balance for the most part," Crawford said. "He has three good pitches and good movement on his fastball. We didn't get on base a whole lot, and when we did, we didn't do a whole lot to drive the runs in."
Angel Pagan led off the first by drawing a walk. But unlike last Sunday when Pagan opened the game against Chatwood with a walk and came around to score on a passed ball, Rosario threw out Pagan as he tried to steal second base.
"That helped out a lot," Chatwood said. "Leadoff walks nearly always come back to hurt you. To get that guy off the basepaths really helped out, kind of got me in a rhythm."
Lincecum now has a 2.72 ERA in 39 2/3 innings through his six starts since the All-Star break.
"I'm not worrying about everything leading up to today," Lincecum said. "It's just today was a tough day. Obviously getting shut out like that at home is tough for us, but we'll come back and fight again tomorrow."
Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.