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NYM@SF: Lincecum hurls seven frames of one-run ball

After the masterful pitching on display during Monday's series opener, both the Giants and Dodgers will be hoping for much of the same from their respective starters in Tuesday's matchup.

After Madison Bumgarner threw eight shutout innings for the Giants in their 2-1 win to outduel Clayton Kershaw's eight innings of two-run ball, Tim Lincecum will take the mound Tuesday for the Giants while the Dodgers will send Joe Blanton to the hill.

Blanton makes his fourth start for the Dodgers since being acquired from the Phillies, and the righty has gone 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA. The Dodgers are hoping Blanton will contribute during a postseason run, much like he did in 2008, when he went 4-0 after the Phillies acquired him from Oakland.

The Giants, on the other hand, would get a big boost from a consistent Lincecum. In his last outing, the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner allowed four runs in four innings against the Nationals, which broke a streak of three straight quality starts. He is 6-13 with a 5.45 ERA this season.

"I just know that I have to go back out there in five more games and then go to work again," Lincecum said after his last start. "It's easy to put this behind me when I know that it's just going to motivate me to work hard."

The Giants' win on Monday to open the three-game series let them jump ahead of the Dodgers for a half-game lead atop the NL West. For the third time in four days, the teams switched places atop the division standings.

"It's a chance basically to go out and win a series and put a little distance between us and them," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "But at the end of the series, we know there's still ways to go. We know Arizona is playing good baseball."

Giants: Posey unlikely to be behind the plate Tuesday
• Manager Bruce Bochy said before Monday's game that Buster Posey was unlikely to catch Lincecum on Tuesday, with the team continuing its efforts to preserve its All-Star catcher.

Bochy said Posey could still play in the game, either at first base or off the bench, if he was to get a day off from catching.

Posey has played in 34 of 36 games since the All-Star break and has only caught two of Lincecum's last 11 starts.

Dodgers: Cruz impresses, could raise lineup questions
• The strong recent play of Luis Cruz has raised questions about the future lineup plans for the Dodgers when Dee Gordon returns from an injured right thumb.

Cruz batted 13-for-29 in the team's recent 10-game road trip, and went 2-for-3 in Monday's game. Cruz has been playing at third base with Hanley Ramirez starting at short, with the original plan being that Ramirez would shift to third with Gordon going back to shortstop when he returned.

"Right now, it's hard to think about it," Mattingly said before Monday's game. "We don't have to worry about it. Luis is swinging the bat really well and we're playing well right now. We'll see where Dee fits in. He's a week away from being able to play games, so we're just ways away from Dee being ready to play."

• Ted Lilly was scratched from his start Sunday night for his rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga and was scheduled to meet with the team doctor on Monday night to determine the next course of action. Lilly has been on the disabled list since May 24 with left shoulder problems and has made three rehab appearances.

Worth noting
• The Giants have gone 4-0-1 in their five road series since the All-Star break.

• Blanton is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in nine career starts against the Giants, while Lincecum is 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) against the Dodgers. Comments