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Giants' ex-Cy to stay in bullpen

CINCINNATI — LHP Barry Zito will start Game 4 for the Giants if they extend their NL Division Series against the Reds.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum? He's staying in the bullpen.

San Francisco flew in from the West Coast on Monday trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series. Manager Bruce Bochy wanted to see how the first two games played out before deciding his Game 4 starter. The Reds won 5-2 and 9-0, with Lincecum pitching two innings in relief Sunday night.

Bochy chose Zito because of his strong finish to the season. The left-hander won his last five starts and seven straight decisions. The Giants won the past 11 games that he started.

"He's been really on top of his game, and I think he's earned this," Bochy said. "We all do. I'm glad to be able to tell Barry that he's getting the start. When you win your last 11 games that a pitcher starts, it's a pretty good thing."

It was a touchy decision for the Giants. Lincecum had been their ace for the previous four years but lost a career-high 15 games this season, had a 5.18 ERA and tied his career high with 17 wild pitches.

A'S PICK ANDERSON: LHP Brett Anderson, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 19 because of an oblique injury, is set to start for Oakland in Game 3 of the ALDS tonight.

Anderson, who came back this season from reconstructive elbow surgery, had a 2.57 ERA in six starts this season before he strained his right oblique muscle.

"It wasn't ideal getting hurt again," Anderson said. "But I feel good, and the postseason, who knows when we're going to get back here."

CARDS PITCHER HURT: Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia left Monday's start after two innings when he appeared to aggravate the strained shoulder that put him on the DL for two months this season. Manager Mike Matheny said Garcia was sent for an MRI exam.

CUETO'S STATUS: The Reds are unsure whether RHP Johnny Cueto will be available if there's a Game 4. He started the series opener but left in the first inning with back spasms. If he's unavailable, the Reds could start RHP Mat Latos, who relieved Cueto on Saturday night.

LEYLAND LIKELY TO RETURN: Tigers manager Jim Leyland has been telling people in recent days that he does not plan to retire after the postseason, reported. Detroit has reached the playoffs three times in Leyland's seven seasons after failing to advance for 18 years.

Giants' ex-Cy to stay in bullpen 10/08/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 10:23pm]
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