CINCINNATI (AP) — Left-hander Barry Zito will start Game 4 for the San Francisco Giants if they can extend their NL division series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum? He's staying in the bullpen.
San Francisco flew in from the West Coast on Monday trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series. The Reds can finish it off Tuesday night when Homer Bailey (13-10) goes against the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong (14-9).
Manager Bruce Bochy wanted to see how the first two games of the series played out before deciding his Game 4 starter. The Reds won 5-2 and 9-0, with Lincecum pitching two innings in relief on Sunday night.
Bochy chose Zito (15-8) because of his strong finish to the season. The left-hander won his last five starts and seven straight decisions. The Giants won the last 11 games that he started.
"He's been really on top of his game, and I think he's earned this," Bochy said. "We all do. I'm glad to be able to tell Barry that he's getting the start. When you win your last 11 games that a pitcher starts, it's a pretty good thing."
It was a touchy decision for the Giants. Lincecum pitched their Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas in 2010, but has struggled this season. He lost a career-high 15 games, had a 5.18 ERA and tied his career high with 17 wild pitches.