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Lincecum Returns After Rest to Face D-Backs

(Sept. 24, 2012) -- The Giants' regulars got a rest on Sunday, but they'll be back in the lineup Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks as San Francisco looks to stay fresh and focused until postseason play begins.

After clinching the National League West title on Saturday and with an off day Monday, manager Bruce Bochy saw Sunday afternoon as the perfect day to give his regular starters a breather.

"It's important to keep the same focus ... of wanting to play the game hard," said catcher Buster Posey, who had played 27 consecutive games before driving in a run with a pinch-hit forceout in the ninth inning Sunday.

Tim Lincecum will get the start Tuesday after being scratched from his originally scheduled start Sunday afternoon. Lincecum has turned things around lately and has compiled a 3.01 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 28 walks in 59 2/3 innings since July 31.

Taking the mound against Lincecum and the Giants will be young Tyler Skaggs, who is looking to end the season on a high note after a rocky first six starts. Skaggs is 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA.

Although the Giants lost, 6-4, to the San Diego Padres on Sunday, there were some bright spots, including pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff's ninth-inning leadoff single, which missed clearing the right-field wall by just a few feet. Huff has five hits in his last nine pinch-hit at-bats. When Bochy decides who to keep on the postseason roster, he and his staff will linger over Huff's name.

"You have to like his at-bats," Bochy said. "It's so valuable for a club to have that good a left-handed pinch-hitter. ... That's something we'll have to think hard about."

This year, Fan Appreciation Day worked in reverse. The AT&T spectators showed up to salute the Giants for clinching the title a day earlier. Patrons freely cheered the patchwork collection of players who started the series finale, in which San Diego avoided a three-game sweep and ended the Giants' six-game winning streak.

Though center fielder Gregor Blanco and second baseman Ryan Theriot were Sunday's only two starters who didn't spend part or all of this season with Triple-A Fresno, the lineup received a warm ovation upon taking the field before the first inning.

Xavier Nady, who could make the postseason roster as a right-handed-batting alternative in left field, drew hearty cheers for his fourth-inning RBI double. Two batters later, rookie Francisco Peguero elicited a standing ovation when he beat out a dribbler to shortstop for his first Major League hit.

Peguero singled again in the seventh inning, lashing a sharp line drive to left field this time.