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Starlin Castro drove in three runs, Kosuke Fukudome homered and the Chicago Cubs battered San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum in an 8-6 win over the Giants on Tuesday night.
Lincecum, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young winner, lasted just four innings and gave up six runs, including Fukudome's two-run homer in the first. Over his last five starts San Francisco's ace is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in extra innings, but scored four runs in the first off Lincecum (11-6) and never looked back. Chicago had scored just 10 runs in its previous four games before breaking out against the Giants.
Castro had an RBI single in the first then hit a bases-loaded single in the fourth to drive in two more.
Fukudome's 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot on the first pitch he saw, landed in the waters of McCovey Cove and gave Chicago a 4-0 lead. It is the first time in Lincecum's career he has allowed more than three runs in the first.
Dempster (10-8) nearly let it all slip away, albeit with help from the Cubs' defense which committed errors in the first two innings. The Giants benefited and scored an unearned run in the first then pulled within 4-2 on Travis Ishikawa's RBI single in the second.
Lincecum settled down briefly but ran into trouble again in the fourth when he gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Castro, who had an RBI single in the first, followed with a two-out single to center to drive in Koyie Hill and Dempster, making it 6-2.
For Lincecum it was another in a series of disappointing outings this season. He allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings and lost consecutive-starts for the third time this season. San Francisco's ace altered his delivery in July in hopes of changing his luck but has had limited success since.
The Giants fell 2 1/2 games behind San Diego in the NL West. San Francisco also dropped into a tie with Cincinnati for the NL wild card lead.
Chicago closer Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the ninth when he gave up four hits, including an RBI double to Posey. Pablo Sandoval also drove in a run with an infield single but Marmol struck out Juan Uribe and got Ishikawa to ground out.