For Tim Lincecum, Friday's start will be all about attempting to repeat history.
The Giants right-hander is set to face the Padres for the second straight time, and that first outing could not have gone much better. On Saturday in San Francisco, he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, racking up a season-high eight strikeouts to improve to 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA.
This time around, Lincecum will be taking the mound at Petco Park, but otherwise continuity abounds.
"I think you kind of go off of what happened in that game." Lincecum said. "You try to work off that and how that game plan worked and where it didn't. And then you try and correct those. They could throw out a whole completely different lineup. So you've got to be ready for that, just study your hitters. The biggest thing was being on the same page with my catcher. So that was good."
Buster Posey, who started that game behind the plate, will do so again Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Hector Sanchez was behind the plate for Lincecum's first three outings.
"I always say this: Anytime a pitcher throws well, the catcher certainly deserves credit," Bochy said. "I thought they got in sync and into a good rhythm. To add to that, though, I said this, he's real close. He's had the one-inning hiccups in his previous games, but when you take that one inning away, he's been throwing well. I will say, as far as his command and tempo, it was really good his last start, and that's what we'd like to see Friday. I think Buster was a part of that, the fact that he was in sync throwing that game."
The Giants swept that three-game series from the Padres, then beat the D-backs on Monday, but since have lost two straight. They will start a six-game road trip against a Padres club that had lost five straight entering Wednesday.
San Diego will go with Andrew Cashner (0-1, 4.05), who made his first start of the year when he faced Lincecum last Saturday after Clayton Richard fell ill. He should be able to throw about 80 pitches after getting to 65 in four solid innings last time, and figures to be a part of the Padres' rotation going forward.
"I saw a crisp fastball, he was efficient overall, a lot of positive signs," manager Bud Black said on Saturday. "He did a good job on short notice. He didn't do anything to not make us think about [giving him another start]. But long range, we see Andrew as a starter."
Giants: Padres a friendly foe for Lincecum
Lincecum is 11-5 with a 2.33 ERA in his career against the Padres and confirmed he feels good with the matchup. But more important is the fact that he feels comfortable on the mound early this season.
"I mean, I never try to feed strictly off past success off them. I just use that as some more knowledge to have," he said. "It's usually based off how I'm feeling at that time, and right now I feel like I'm starting to gain my rhythm and my tempo better. Things are just coming out better."
• Shortstop Brandon Crawford and right fielder Hunter Pence are the only Giants to have started every game this season. Crawford went 3-for-4 with a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning Wednesday, his fourth of the season. That matches the total he accrued in 143 games last year.
Padres: Erlin added to bullpen
Needing a fresh reliever on Wednesday, San Diego brought left-hander Robbie Erlin up from Triple-A Tucson. The 22-year-old is the Padres' No. 9 prospect according to MLB.com and has struck out more than a batter per inning over five Minor League seasons.
Over three starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this season, Erlin was 2-0 with a 4.72 ERA.
• The Padres are one of three teams, along with the Twins and Dodgers, to finish Wednesday without a player having more than two home runs.
• Padres third baseman Chase Headley has hit three home runs and is slugging .579 against Lincecum in 43 plate appearances.
• The Padres are 2-7 at home this season, having lost seven in a row before defeating the Brewers on Wednesday.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.