SAN FRANCISCO - Paul Goldschmidt has no idea why he is so good against Tim Lincecum. Balls regularly clear the fences and drive people in when he faces San Francisco's two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
More of the same Tuesday night.
Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer and a pair of sacrifice flies for a career-high five RBIs, and the Arizona Diamondbacks knocked Lincecum out early to beat the NL West champion Giants 7-2.
"I don't know," Goldschmidt said when asked about his success. "The pitch I hit tonight was up a little bit and the wind brought it back a little. It barely cleared the fence. I wish I knew how to explain it. I'd try to do it more often. Every time I step in I just want to hit the ball hard and swing at the right pitches."
He has become Lincecum's nemesis, to say the least.
Lincecum wants nothing more than to rediscover his top form heading into the playoffs for San Francisco. Get back to the guy who won the Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas two years ago — or even just close to that pitcher who was so dominant.
Lincecum lost his sixth straight start to the D-backs and third this year.
"I know I've got right now something to strive for, the post-season," Lincecum said. "It's obviously going to be in the back of my mind, this team, and what they've done to me. ... Obviously he's kind of got my number right now."
Goldschmidt on his own gave Josh Collmenter (5-3) plenty of support as Arizona won for the seventh time in its last nine games. The D-backs are trying to keep their slim NL wild-card hopes alive.
Aaron Hill had three hits and scored three runs, and Arizona also scored two of its runs on wild pitches on a cool night featuring swirling mist above the field in the early innings.
Lincecum (10-15) had his start pushed back two games from Sunday after San Francisco clinched its second division crown in three years with a win against San Diego on Saturday night.
He lost for the first time in five starts since Aug. 26 at Atlanta. He had won his previous two outings and three straight decisions.
You could count on Kirk Gibson writing Goldschmidt into the lineup against Lincecum. The slugger is batting .571 (8 for 14) with five home runs and 10 RBIs for his career against the right-hander.
"It's unexplainable his success against Lincecum," Gibson said. "It's pretty amazing. Let's hope it will continue."
Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly — a long fly to left that surely would have cleared the fences elsewhere and even here during a day game — and Aaron Hill scored on a wild pitch as Arizona took a quick 2-0 lead. Goldschmidt hit his 19th home run and fifth of his career off Lincecum in the third, then added another sacrifice fly in the fifth.
"He's had his way with Timmy. It seems he gets a mistake and he doesn't miss it," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He was battling his delivery. He's been throwing well and needs to put this one behind him."
Marco Scutaro doubled leading off the fourth for a career-best 13-game hitting streak, longest active run in the National League. Buster Posey doubled him home two batters later, stepping into the batter's box to chants of "M-V-P! M-V-P!" from the sellout crowd of 41,153 at AT&T Park. He needs one RBI for 100 this season.
Bochy pulled several of his regulars early. Sub Ryan Theriot hit an RBI double in the eighth.
Collmenter allowed two hits and one run, struck out four and walked two in five innings. He started for the first time since July 27 against the Mets, but has won each of his last three starts. He had made six relief appearances since.
"I was a little jumpier at the start than I wanted but I slowed my mechanics down a little," Collmenter said. "It's a great atmosphere to pitch in, with the place full. They even chanted M-V-P a couple of times while I was out there. I thought that was pretty cool."
Lincecum, caught again by rookie Hector Sanchez, fell behind in a hurry. He was done after four innings, tagged for seven runs on five hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
"It was a matter of me not hitting my spots and making it pretty tough on him back there with all the stuff I'm throwing in the dirt, pitches at the head," Lincecum said. "It was a pretty erratic day."
Lincecum loaded the bases in the first after allowing a scary infield single to Justin Upton that the pitcher said hit his glove. Athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and Bochy scurried out to check on the pitcher.
Lincecum then received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti in the first after a two-out walk to Jason Kubel.
The D-backs won with only six hits after getting just five in Monday's 4-2 series finale loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.
NOTES: The Diamondbacks have shut down top pitching prospect LHP Tyler Skaggs, who had been scheduled to start Tuesday. While he isn't hurt, it's about workload and a precaution, Gibson said. Skaggs' velocity has dropped from 94 mph at the start of the year to 87-88. "In Skaggs' case, he's healthy. He's fine," Gibson said. "He's tired and he's spent." ... Hill is batting .487 (19 for 39) with six extra-base hits and nine runs in his last nine games vs. San Francisco.