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Giants beat Dodgers to extend NL West lead

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POSTED August 21, 2012 11:25 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Put the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of Tim Lincecum and he can't help but get pumped.

Buster Posey wasn't catching Lincecum, yet he noticed "a little extra giddy up" in the pitcher before Tuesday night's game.

Lincecum bounced back from consecutive home losses with his third straight road win to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Dodgers 4-1 and extend their NL West lead to 1½ games over their division rival.

"I was riding more adrenaline because it was the Dodgers and I knew it was a big game," he said. "I felt like I had a pretty good rhythm out there in the bullpen and carried it into the game."

The two-time NL Cy Young winner allowed one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings after failing to pitch past the fourth inning in his last start, a loss to Washington last week. Lincecum (7-13) struck out four and walked one while the Giants provided him slightly more than his average of 3.91 runs of support.

On a humid night, Lincecum was throwing in the low 90s.

"It was good to see him throw like that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He mixed it up well and used all of his pitches. He had a good look about him, good focus. That was a great sign for us and Timmy. He looked very determined."

A night after Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw combined for 20 strikeouts and no walks in the series opener, Lincecum and Dodgers starter Joe Blanton brought losing records into their matchup.

But Lincecum got the job done to earn his first win at Dodger Stadium in five starts and didn't allow any of the big innings that have plagued him this season. Javier Lopez pitched the ninth to earn his third save in five chances.

Lincecum is focused on finishing the season strong after his ups and downs in the first half.

"You can't change anything that happened. You can just make better pitches now," he said. "Just moving forward one batter at a time. I know it's clichéd, but when I break it down small like that it relieves pressure on me."

Blanton (8-12) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked two to fall to 0-3 in four starts with the Dodgers since being acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 4.

"He did a great job of limiting the damage to two runs in the first inning and getting out of that jam," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "It gave us a chance to stay in the game."

Posey, who started at first base while Hector Sanchez took his spot behind the plate, got things started for the Giants with a two-run single in the first inning. They added two runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Brandon Crawford and run-scoring double by Angel Pagan. He threw out Ellis at the plate for the first out of the sixth.

"It definitely pumped me up," said Lincecum, who backed up the play. "I screamed my head off when he made that play."

The Dodgers lost Monday night's series opener 2-1, getting only a ninth-inning homer from Hanley Ramirez, and again failed to generate much offense. Matt Kemp's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the sixth accounted for their run.

"I didn't come through on that one," he said. "We got one run, but it would have been better to hit one over the fence and tie the game."

Kemp snapped his 0-for-21 drought with a ninth-inning single.

Andre Ethier struggled again, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

Notes: The Giants are 9-17 overall in Lincecum's starts this season. ... Dodgers INF Justin Sellers will undergo lower back surgery on Thursday. He has been on the DL since May 23 with a bulging disk. ... The Dodgers reinstated RHP Rubby De La Rosa from the 60-day DL and optioned RHP Javy Guerra to Triple-A Albuquerque. Guerra had a 2-3 record with eight saves and a 2.66 ERA while appearing in 44 games. De La Rosa had been on the DL since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. In the minors this season, he posted a 1-0 record and did not allow a run to score over 12 innings in stints with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and the Arizona League Dodgers.

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