Tuesday, July 01, 2014
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Preview: Cardinals at Giants

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[July 01, 2014]  The San Francisco Giants managed to turn an overwhelming lead in the National League West into a virtual tie with a lackluster June, and the St. Louis Cardinals did nothing to help. The Giants will try to take advantage of the Cardinals when they open a three-game series in San Francisco on Tuesday. St. Louis had a chance to keep the Giants in the lead alone but dropped three of four to the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.

San Francisco held a 7 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers at the start of June but floundered to 10-16 in the month, including being swept over four games at home against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. Tim Lincecum's no-hitter is the lone win the Giants have managed in the last seven contests - all at home. The Cardinals were flummoxed by the pitching staff of Los Angeles and managed a total of four runs in the series while being shut out twice.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals LH Marco Gonzales (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Giants RH Tim Lincecum (6-5, 4.42)

Gonzales is making his second major-league start after getting rocked for five runs on seven hits in five innings at Colorado on Wednesday. The 22-year-old walked a pair and struck out three while surrendering one home run against the Rockies. Gonzales relies on a strong changeup and has a spot in the rotation with the team battling through injuries.

Lincecum is no longer the consistently dominant starter that won a pair of Cy Young Awards but is still capable of occasional brilliance. The 30-year-old tossed his second career no-hitter against the Padres on Wednesday, striking out six, and has allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his last nine starts. Lincecum is 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis.

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1. The Cardinals recalled OF Oscar Taveras from Triple-A Memphis and optioned RHP Jorge Rondon.

2. San Francisco 1B Brandon Belt (thumb) and CF Angel Pagan (back) could both come off the DL this week.

3. St. Louis LHP Nick Greenwood, who was unavailable Sunday after throwing 53 pitches the previous day, is expected to be ready for Tuesday.

PREDICTION: Giants 6, Cardinals 5

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