Tim Lincecum Sharp as San Francisco Giants, Andres Torres Win Fourth Straight

Michael ManbertContributor IIJuly 16, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 15: Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on July 15, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Players, coaches and fans alike questioned the validity of Tim Lincecum's selection to the NL All-Star team this year after he entered the break with a 7-7 record.

The two-time Cy Young award winner has something to say about that.

Lincecum was again dominant as he threw six innings of three-hit, one-run ball and struck out seven in front of a San Diego crowd that was littered with Giants fans Friday night at Petco Park.

In doing so, Lincecum lowers his ERA to a fantastic 2.99 on the season.

"I just really wanted to keep things going for us," Lincecum said in the post-game conference, referring to the Giants' hot play as of late. "We're playing well at the right time, and the guys picked it up for me today, as well."

"We're doing what we need to do to win this division."

The Giants extend their lead to 4.5 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who lost to the Dodgers Friday night.

San Francisco got out to an early lead that they would never relinquish in the first inning as Pablo Sandoval (who's 22-game hit streak came to an end Friday night) hit a sacrifice fly to left-field, scoring Andres Torres.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 15: Andres Torres #56 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on July 15, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Giants won 6-1.   (Photo by Deni
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Cody Ross would extend the lead to 2-0 with a solo homer to left field in the third, his seventh on the year.

The Padres answered with a run of their own in the fourth as Orlando Hudson drove in Albert Gonzales on a groundout, but it would be their only time on the scoreboard for the remainder of the contest.

Andres Torres had an RBI single in the fifth and subsequently scored from third on a double-steal play in which Mike Fontenot stole from first and was thrown out - only to see Torres take home on the diversion play.

Torres would tack on yet another RBI with a double in the seventh, and would score again on a wild pitch.

The Giants' bullpen combined to throw three scoreless innings on the night as the defending world champions improve to 54-40 on the season, while the Padres see their record fall to an NL-West worst 40-54.

The Giants and Padres resume their series at 5:35 p.m. Saturday night in San Diego.

Michael Manbert is a reporter for SFGiantsInsider.com.