SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Lincecum wants to believe.
He’s just waiting for a sign.
Lincecum had two hits in addition to pitching seven strong innings in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, who swept the Giants in San Francisco for the first time in 20 years.
“We always talk about believing we can get out of it,” Lincecum said. “It just takes a couple of things going right to springboard us to something positive.
“Right now, we’re kind of avoiding those. If we can just hit something right, catch stride, maybe win a few games in a row, that will give us a little more confidence.”
Lincecum (5-11) gave up two runs and four hits. He walked two and struck out a season-high 10 in his second start since throwing a no-hitter in San Diego on July 13.
“Tim did a great job,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Not only did he pitch well, he got a couple of hits there. It’s a shame he couldn’t get him the win.”
Pablo Sandoval drove in the Giants run with a double in the fifth inning. The Giants loaded the bases with no outs but a grounder to third baseman Luis Valbuena, whose fielding error helped load the bases, turned into a 5-2 double play.
“In all my years I’ve never seen a team go through such a hard time getting runs in like we’re having right now,” Bochy said. “It’s a shame because we’re getting such great pitching.”
The Giants have hit one home run in each of their past four homestands, a span of 22 games. Buster Posey hit San Francisco’s last home run, nine games and 75 innings ago.
“We’re not playing good baseball,” Posey said. “That’s about it. We have to play better. When you’re struggling, the battle is sometimes trying not to do too much.”
Lincecum allowed solo home runs to opposing pitcher Travis Wood in the fifth and to Welington Castillo in the seventh. Both came with two outs.
“The second one was hard to take,” Lincecum said. “The team had already picked me up for the Wood home run.”
Lincecum survived a shaky start to retire 13 of 14 batters until Wood took him deep.
“It was just a couple of location mistakes,” Lincecum said. “Except for the two home runs everything seemed to come out of my hand better.”
The Giants, who have committed a major league-leading 76 errors, took fielding practice instead of batting practice before the game.
NOTES: The Giants activated RHP Guillermo Moscosco, whom they acquired in a trade from the Chicago Cubs last week. RHP Yusmeiro Petit was designated for assignment to make room for Moscosco. … The Giants are scheduled for a White House visit on Monday’s day off before starting a series at Philadelphia on Tuesday. Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays was asked to accompany the team to Washington D.C. and missed the Hall of Fame ceremonies. … The first inning lasted 31 minutes and the pitchers needed a combined 58 pitches to complete it. … LHP Barry Zito (4-7, 4.92) starts Tuesday night’s game at the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s 0-6 with a 9.89 ERA on the road.