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SF@COL: Lincecum strikes out 10 over 7 2/3 innings

By all accounts, Tim Lincecum is still entering his prime as a 26-year-old in the first month of his fifth season in the big leagues.

But he's already knocking on history's door.

With one more double-digit strikeout performance, the Giants ace can surpass Christy Mathewson -- the Hall of Famer who spent 17 seasons pitching for the New York Giants -- for the most double-digit strikeout games in franchise history.

Lincecum tied Mathewson's franchise mark of 10-plus-strikeout games (28) on April 18 against the Rockies and now has 38 strikeouts through his five starts this season.

Lincecum, also 55 strikeouts away from 1,000 for his career, has led the National League in K's each of the last three seasons, putting up 757 from 2008-10.

On Friday at Nationals Park, however, he'll be facing a Nationals team that went into its Thursday night series finale against the Mets -- which they won, 4-3, to end a three-game losing streak -- with the fifth-fewest punchouts in the National League.

The Giants, coming off winning two of three over the Pirates -- after having lost four straight heading into PNC Park -- will be playing Game 4 of a 10-game road trip when they start their three-game set against Washington.

The defending World Series champs took four of six from the Nats last season.

And Lincecum apparently loves to pitch on the road.

In three road starts this season, "The Freak" has yielded just two earned runs in 21 2/3 innings, putting up an 0.83 ERA while striking out 28 and walking six. At home against the Braves on Saturday, Lincecum struggled, giving up a season-high five runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Lincecum was most upset about his control.

"You can't accept [walking six batters] and putting your team in a back-against-the-wall type of situation," he said then. "Today was one of those situations where I did it to myself and didn't put us in position to have a good game."

Nationals: All quality for Marquis so far
The first season of a two-year, $15 million contract was a nightmarish one for Jason Marquis, who went 2-9 with a 6.60 ERA and was limited to only 13 starts. But he did finish off that year with back-to-back quality starts.

And he has carried that over into 2011 so far.

The 32-year-old right-hander has notched four straight quality starts -- three runs or less, six innings or more -- in each of his four outings this season. For his career against the Giants, he's 4-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 games (10 starts).

Giants: Bullpen throwing up zeros
The Giants' bullpen blanked the Pirates through 3 1/3 innings during their 5-2 win Thursday and logged 9 1/3 innings in the three-game set, giving up only one run in the process.

Heading into Thursday's games, manager Bruce Bochy's relief corps ranked 14th in the big leagues with a 3.44 ERA and was tied with the Royals for fourth in innings (81).

Worth noting
The Giants recalled infielder Emmanuel Burriss from Triple-A Fresno on Thursday. Burriss is taking the spot of utility man Mark DeRosa, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left wrist. ... The Nationals reinstated Ian Desmond from Major League Baseball's new paternity leave list on Thursday afternoon before the series finale with the New York Mets. As a corresponding move, the club optioned outfielder Roger Bernadina to Triple-A Syracuse. The move allows the Nationals to keep Brian Bixler, an extra infielder, on the bench while waiting for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to recover from a left abdominal strain. ... Desmond tripled, homered and scored two runs as the Nationals beat the Mets, 4-3, on Thursday.

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