SAN FRANCISCO -- He's not the same pitcher he once was, but Tim Lincecum continued his best run in at least four years with seven scoreless innings Friday in a 5-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Lincecum allowed three hits and walked two in his fourth straight dominant outing. Beginning with his no-hitter June 25 against the San Diego Padres, Lincecum is 4-0 with a 0.30 ERA, allowing just one run in 301/3 innings pitched.

"He finished up on a nice roll here in the first half," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's pretty much how he's been pitching lately. Good command, using all his pitches, just is in a good rhythm out there and is throwing with a lot of confidence right now."

Lincecum suddenly is looking like the Giants' ace again, even if he hasn't rediscovered his mid- to high-90s fastball. In the past four games, he's lowered his ERA from 4.90 to 3.66. His 9-5 record is the best on the starting staff, and he's tied with All-Star Madison Bumgarner for the team lead in wins. This is the first time Lincecum has won four straight outings since the start of the 2010 season.

"I'm not afraid to throw any of my pitches in any situation," Lincecum said. "I think that confidence has carried me through these outings."

The team is still scuffling overall, but the Giants did move back into a tie for first place with Friday's win. The victory was only their sixth in their past 18 games, with Lincecum accounting for four of those.


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"Timmy really has been a shot in the arm for us," Bochy said. "He's been the stopper here through these tough times. He's gone out there -- and it started with the no-hitter and his other starts -- he's kind of gotten us back on track it seems like every start. It's nice to have a guy in the rotation doing that for you."

Pablo Sandoval also provided a jolt with some rare early offense when he connected on a two-run home run in the first inning.

"That was nice to see. I'm not going to lie," Bochy said of the homer. "To get some early run support, it makes life a lot easier."

The Giants added two more in the second thanks to the bottom of the order. Brandon Crawford singled home Tyler Colvin, and Linceum drove in Joe Panik with a safety squeeze bunt.

Friday's game had a positive vibe early, starting with Lincecum retiring nemesis Paul Goldschmidt to end the first inning. Goldschmidt entered the night with seven home runs and 15 hits in 26 career at bats against Lincecum but went 0 for 2 with a walk Friday night.

  • Marco Scutaro will make his season debut Saturday for the Giants when he gets the start at second base. He was activated before Friday's game and available off the bench but wasn't used.

    Brandon Hicks was designated for assignment to make room on the 25- and 40-man rosters for Scutaro's activation from the 60-day disabled list.

    Scutaro, who has been out all season with a sore back, still isn't 100 percent and seems resigned that he'll never be.

    "My back is better, but it's not the way it used to be a couple years ago," Scutaro, 38, said. "Pain is still there a little bit. Sometimes I have good days or bad days. I'm just going to try to go day by day. There's going to be days I'm going to be really sore and not going to be able to play."

  • The Giants signed first-round pick Tyler Beede, a right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt. He met before the game with Bochy and watched batting practice from the dugout.

    "Everything's just happening really fast," Beede said of his first official day with the organization. "I was just out in the dugout getting a few interviews done, and this was the first time I've ever been to the stadium so I was simultaneously looking around, taking in the sights, being a tourist here for a little bit. It's very exciting to be here, and I couldn't be happier for sure."

    Beede will report to Arizona to begin a throwing program and eventually join the Giants' Rookie League team. He compared his pitching style to those of Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha. He throws a fastball that can reach the mid-90s along with a changeup and curveball.

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