Lincecum gets second win in a week over Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are certainly glad they've seen the last of Tim Lincecum in 2008 -- at least for the regular season.

Lincecum pitched seven sharp innings and beat St. Louis for the second time in a week, leading the San Francisco Giants over the Cardinals 3-0 Saturday.

The two teams conclude their three-game set on Sunday, which is also their last scheduled meeting this season. And that means Lincecum will need to go pick on someone else.

Lincecum (3-0) gave up six hits and struck out five in his 10th major league victory -- three of those wins have come against St. Louis.

"You kind of get lucky from time to time against certain teams," Lincecum said. "Those guys were swinging early, so I had to try to take advantage of it."

Last Sunday, Lincecum struck out 11 in six innings to beat the Cardinals.

"He's tough. He didn't make it easy on us," St. Louis second baseman Adam Kennedy said. "We had plenty of opportunities, starting with me early on, but just couldn't get that one hit we needed."

Kennedy added that Lincecum's mid-90s fastball sets up the rest of his repertoire.

"His fastball is so powerful he doesn't have to be perfect with the rest of his pitches," Kennedy said.

Aaron Rowand hit a solo home run and an RBI single as the Giants ended a three-game losing streak.

A pair of relievers worked the eighth inning and Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his fifth save. The Cardinals finished with seven hits off Lincecum and his relief.

"Great job. He really pitched well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He pitched very well in traffic and had to go through some tough hitters at times. Seven shutout innings against this ballclub that's very hot is an impressive job."

Rowand, signed as a free agent in the offseason, hit his first home run for the Giants as part of a 3-for-4 performance. Jose Castillo drove in San Francisco's other run with a double.

"It's starting to feel better. It's a long season," Rowand said. "It's nice to get the first one out of the way, but we've got a long season."

Cardinals star Albert Pujols went 0-for-3 and had his 10-game hitting streak ended. He drew a walk, and has reached base in all 18 games for St. Louis.

The Giants again beat Joel Pineiro (0-2), who gave up three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He lost to Lincecum last weekend, too, allowing six runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"He was just OK," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He's not quite himself yet, but he's improving.

"The couple times he was not right, they nailed him. The other guy was outstanding, so that was the game," he said.

San Francisco took a 1-0 lead in the third when Brian Bocock led off with a single and scored on Castillo's two-out double.

Rowand homered into the Giants bullpen in left field in the fourth for a 2-0 lead. Ray Durham hit a two-out double in the sixth and scored on Rowand's single.

Lincecum shut down the Cardinals' best chance to score in the fourth. After Skip Schumaker and Chris Duncan led off with singles, Lincecum struck out Pujols and Rick Ankiel and retired Kennedy on a grounder.

"That looked like a real opportunity, the way it was setting up," La Russa said. "But you look at what he did to get the guys out. It's [just] tip your cap time."

Game notes
Rowand was homerless in his first 13 games. He was also homerless in his first 13 games last year before going deep against Washington's John Patterson on April 19. He finished with a career-best 27 home runs. ... Schumaker has multihit games in his last four starts. ... Kennedy, Duncan and Schumaker all stole bases. The three stolen bases were the most in a game by St. Louis since Aug. 30, 2005, when the Cardinals swiped five at Florida. ... Saturday was the first time in 11 home games that the Cardinals did not score first. ... Pineiro has yet to record a strikeout.