Lincecum tossed eight strong innings in a matchup of All-Star pitchers, handing Dempster his first home loss and leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
• The Giants ended a six-game losing streak with their win over the Cubs.
• Ryan Dempster, who came into the game with a 10-0 record at home, fell to an 0-7 record as a starter against the Giants.
• Eight Cubs were selected to the All-Star Game this season, topping the franchise's record of six players sent to the game (1936 and 1988). Chicago also became the fourth team in NL history to send eight players to the game.
-- Associated Press
Dempster (10-4), one of eight Cubs selected for Tuesday's game at Yankee Stadium, entered with a 10-0 record in 11 home starts this season, but was overshadowed by another brilliant start by Lincecum (11-2). The 24-year-old right-hander struck out nine, allowed one runs and six hits and also drove in a run with his first career triple."Quite a show he put on there today against a tough, tough ballclub that's playing well in their ballpark," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's one of the best young pitchers in the game and he showed it today."Ray Durham hit a two-run single in the third and Fred Lewis tripled in a run in the seventh for San Francisco, which ended a six-game losing streak."It's a good note to end on, especially going into the All-Star break. Something to build on. Go home happy," Lincecum said.Brian Wilson survived a shaky ninth inning to record his National League-leading 25th save. The closer yielded an RBI single to fellow All-Star Geovany Soto but bounced back to strike out pinch-hitter Daryle Ward and coax Ryan Theriot into a game-ending groundout with a runner on third.The NL Central-leading Cubs finished a 4-2 homestand and head into the All-Star break with a 37-12 record at Wrigley Field, despite injuries to key players like Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano."We've overcome a lot here," manager Lou Piniella said. "Soriano has really missed half of the first half. He's been on the disabled list and we've had [Rich] Hill that's missed just about all of the first half, a starter we were counting on. We had our No. 1 starter [Zambrano] on the DL and we've done quite well."Let's hope we do just as well or better in the second half and we will just be fine."The bottom of the Giants order hurt Dempster in the third inning. With one out, Omar Vizquel broke an 0-for-11 skid with a single to center and stole second. Lincecum followed with a hard liner to right fielder Mark DeRosa, who charged the ball but couldn't get in front of it. Lincecum's drive rolled all the way to the wall, easily scoring Vizquel."I just think I got lucky. If you look at the swing it doesn't look very pretty. It looks like a backhand in tennis," Lincecum said. "I was like 'Wow, it hit the soft spot of the bat and not right on my hands this time.'"Durham added a two-out, two-run single later in the inning to give the Giants a 3-0 lead."I thought Dempster pitched well," DeRosa said. "I kind of put him in a tough spot there, misplaying that ball in the outfield that led to them scoring three runs."Dempster (10-4) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two."It's a tough matchup," Dempster said. "He [Lincecum] is not going to give up a lot of runs."Before the game, Carlos Marmol became the eighth Cubs player on the NL All-Star team when the reliever was selected to replace injured teammate Kerry Wood. Chicago tied the NL record, becoming the fourth team to send eight players to the game.Before this year, the most All-Stars for the Cubs was six in 1936 and 1988. Outfielder Soriano (broken hand), who was voted to the starting lineup, will miss the game because of a broken hand.
Wood has a blister on his right index finger. He pitched on Friday, closing out a 3-1 win over the Giants for his 24th save in 29 opportunities. Wood hopes to return Friday. ... Dempster is 0-7 as a starter against the Giants. ... Soriano is aiming to come back July 24th against the Marlins.