usually doesn't need much help to succeed, and the 2008 NL
winner got a double bonus Tuesday.
San Francisco Giants
put three runs on the board for him before he threw his first pitch, and
used a lineup with hardly any proven big league hitters.
''It makes life easier,'' Giants manager
's three-run homer in a 6-2 victory over the Cubs. ''We've been looking for a big hit and Bengie jump-started us there.''
The Giants had been averaging only 3.5 runs, worst in the majors, and had failed to score a single run for their last three
Molina's shot off
(0-2) instantly provided Lincecum (3-1) with his magic number. The hard-throwing right-hander is 23-1 lifetime when receiving
at least three runs of support.
''I was able to keep them off-balance with the changeup and curveball, kind of pitching backward from what I usually do,''
said Lincecum, who allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks. ''I was just trying
to mix it up and keep them swinging.''
Rather than facing the Chicago team that had won its previous four games, Lincecum got to go against a lineup that included
six players who were in the minors as recently as 2007.
''We're in a stretch of 20 straight games without a day off,'' Piniella said. ''You've got to rest people.''
Those he rested for the day game after a night game included his best hitter as of late,
, $30 million newcomer
and '08 NL Rookie of the Year
Among those starting for the Cubs was
, a 31-year-old infielder making his big league debut after spending 11 years in the minors.
Scales, who supplements his income by working as a substitute teacher during the offseason, singled in the fifth inning and
later scored on Marshall's single to cut San Francisco's lead to 3-2.
''I don't know how long I'm going to be here, so go ahead and get one mark on the board,'' said Scales, who went 1-for-4,
made a diving play at second base and ended the game by striking out.
''I knew for a fact that I could play here. That never wavered. Whether you get opportunities or not, that's not up to me.
No matter what happens the rest of the way, they can't take it from me. I got it. I earned it. And I'm just fortunate to have
The Giants broke open the game with a three-run eighth that featured
's two-run double off reliever
''That's what we've been missing - that timely hit, especially a double or home run,'' Bochy said. ''We got two of them today
against a good ballclub.''
Like most San Francisco hitters lately, Molina and Rowand had been struggling. Molina was in a 4-for-23 slump and Rowand had
gone hitless in his previous 20 at-bats.
Notes: The Giants rested infielder
, who was batting .387 in his previous 16 games. Sandoval, who has a slight groin injury, pinch-hit in the eighth and grounded
into a double play. ... The Giants are 11-0 when they score first in a game, 2-12 when they don't. ... Cubs OF
went 0-for-13 on the homestand. ... Cubs 1B
is batting .278 at home and .108 on the road.