CINCINNATI -- Barry Zito will get his shot at redemption. Maybe.

Zito, left off the postseason roster in 2010, was named the Game 4 starter on Monday. While he called it an exciting moment, there's no guarantee that Zito will get to pitch in this series. Trailing the Cincinnati Reds 2-0, the Giants face a must-win on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Zito earned the start with a scintillating finish to the regular season. The Giants won Zito's final 11 starts, the longest such streak since 1992.

"He's really just done a terrific job for us," Bochy said. "He's been really on top of his game and I think he's earned this."

Zito was 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA in the regular season and gave up just two earned runs in two appearances against the Reds. He has a 6.10 ERA in six career starts at Great American Ball Park but said he's focusing only on his latest outing here: one run over six innings in an April start.

"It's encouraging that I know I got it done here," Zito said. "I just need to be loose and free, and let my stuff determine what will happen."

Bochy said he briefly considered bringing Matt Cain back on short rest, but Tim Lincecum was never an option. Lincecum will be available out of the bullpen the rest of the series. He pitched two shutout relief innings in Game 2.

"All it can do is help," Lincecum said. "There's nothing to say that I'm going to definitely get in there, but like I said, all I can do is use it to my advantage that, 'Hey I know how to prepare for this.' "

Zito threw a bullpen session after Game 2 to prepare for a potential start.

  • The Giants held a light workout upon arriving in Cincinnati, where the temperature dipped into the 30s. Bochy said he was pleased with his team's demeanor on the flight to Cincinnati.

    "They were just relaxing," he said. "I can't say I noticed anything different."

  • If the Giants force a Game 4, it will be held at 1:07 p.m. on Wednesday.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.