SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tim Lincecum reached a new low this season and so did the San Francisco Giants ' offense.
At this rate, the defending World Series champions are going to need an incredible September to avoid missing the postseason altogether.
Not even the memories of last fall's memorable title run are enough to get this team going now.
"At this time last year we were in a similar spot but we were gaining ground, not going backward," said Lincecum, who gave up three home runs and allowed five runs in a 7-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday night. "Right now it's obviously frustrating for everybody. It's one of those situations where it's hard to keep your head up when things aren't really going our way."
The loss dropped the Giants five games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West with 27 games to play. At the same point a year ago, they were three games out of the division lead before going 18-8 in September.
Manager Bruce Bochy has tried everything to shake his team out of the slump. On Friday he held a meeting with San Francisco's pitching staff and told them not to worry about the lack of run support.
After the Giants managed only two hits against Cubs starter Randy Wells , Bochy might want to try again.
"It's hard to figure what's going on," said Bochy, who met with general manager Brian Sabean in his office after speaking with reporters following the game. "We've tried different things, lineups, yelling, meeting, but it's a tough rut, there's no getting around it."
San Francisco managed only a two-out double by Andres Torres in the third and Mike Fontenot 's pinch-hit single with one out in the eighth.
Beyond that, the Giants managed only a walk against Wells.
"Right now nothing is really going our way," said Carlos Beltran , who went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. "We come to the ballpark every day trying to make things happen, and nothing's happened. It just hasn't happened."
That continues to be a big problem for the Giants, who went into August with a two-game lead in the division. Now San Francisco needs a strong finish to avoid missing out on the postseason altogether.
Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, had allowed only five runs over his previous five starts. He pitched out of jams in the first and sixth but gave up solo home runs to Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto before Blake DeWitt 's three-run blast in the seventh.
It's the first time in his career that Lincecum (12-11) has allowed three home runs in one game.
"My purpose is to go out there and pitch and give my team a chance to win, whether it's giving up one run or two runs or zero runs. That's my job and I didn't do that tonight," said Lincecum, whose 11 losses are a career-high. "I made three poorly executed pitches when it counted and they hit them out of the park. Just three really (bad) pitches."
Wells (6-4) pitched a two-hitter for his first career complete game while the Cubs backed him with four home runs to snap a four-game losing streak.
Carlos Pena accounted for the fourth homer, a solo shot off reliever Steve Edlefsen in the seventh.
It was the third time this season Chicago has had four or more home runs in one game. The Cubs have 38 home runs in August, most in the National League.
"To do that kind of damage against Lincecum was a huge plus," Chicago manager Mike Quade said. "When it was 1-0, you think it might just end up that way. The offense was fantastic."
The way Wells has been pitching it didn't matter what Lincecum did.
Wells faced only four batters over the minimum and only allowed two runners to reach second base. He matched his season-high of seven strikeouts and walked one while winning his third consecutive start on the road. The right-hander, who hasn't lost since July 28, improved to 2-1 in four career starts against the Giants.
Soriano's home run was his 23rd of the season, one shy of tying Pena and Aramis Ramirez for the team lead.
Soto's homer, leading off the seventh, snapped an 0-for-25 streak by the Cubs' catcher.
Lincecum finished with four walks and four strikeouts. He needs seven more to reach 200 for the fourth consecutive season.
Notes: One day after Bochy hinted LHP Jonathan Sanchez (left ankle sprain) might be done for the year, Sanchez acknowledged his recovery hasn't gone as quickly as he hoped but said he's hopeful of pitching again this season. ... LHP Barry Zito is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday and could begin a rehab assignment soon. ... RHP Matt Garza (6-10) starts for the Cubs on Tuesday and will make his first career appearance against the Giants. Garza has only two wins and a 5.07 ERA on the road this season. ... Former San Francisco mayor and current California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was among those in attendance.