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Arms on display as Giants face Astros

Arms on display as Giants face Astros

ST. LOUIS -- Pitchers are usually the center of attention, but they'll command extra scrutiny in each game of the Giants' series against the Houston Astros beginning Friday at AT&T Park.

The Giants will be curious to see whether right-hander Ryan Sadowski, who'll oppose right-hander Felipe Paulino in the series opener, can duplicate the excellence he displayed at Milwaukee on Sunday. Sadowski thrived that day in his Major League debut, pitching six solid innings in the Giants' 7-0 victory.

Tim Lincecum, who needs no introduction, is scheduled to start Saturday for the Giants. The National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner ranks among the league leaders in ERA, complete games, strikeouts, innings, winning percentage, shutouts and opponents' batting average. Interestingly, Lincecum will face the man he replaced upon joining the Giants' rotation: Russ Ortiz, who injured his elbow during his abbreviated 2007 stint with San Francisco.

Sunday's finale will pit left-hander Randy Johnson, winner of 303 games and five Cy Young Awards, against Houston's Roy Oswalt, one of the best pitchers never to win the Cy Young.

San Francisco's 10-game homestand, its longest of the season, will offer plenty for fans, starting with this weekend.

Friday is Fireworks Night. To allow fans into the ballpark to watch Giants' batting practice, the Willie Mays Gate will open early at 4:15 p.m. PT.

That's followed by 4-ALS Day on Saturday in honor of the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell address and to raise awareness about ALS. The first 30,000 fans also will receive miniature United States flags in honor of Independence Day.

Giants T-shirts presented by Autotrader.com will be given to the first 20,000 fans Sunday. It is also Autograph Sunday and See's Candies Kids Run the Bases.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Ryan Sadowski (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sadowski was a sensation in his Major League debut Sunday at Milwaukee, allowing four hits in six shutout innings. Sadowski, who struck out only two batters, can reach the low-90 mph range with his fastball but relies mostly on location and late movement. He displayed adequate control against the Brewers, issuing three walks. Sadowski became the first Giants pitcher to win his Major League debut since Joe Nathan in 1999.

HOU: RHP Felipe Paulino (2-4, 5.51 ERA)
Paulino turned in his best performance of the season last time out against the Tigers. Making his first start since June 7 after being on the disabled list with a strained right groin, the right-hander set career highs in strikeouts and innings pitched, fanning nine over seven frames of three-hit ball. Paulino allowed just one run and retired the last 10 batters he faced, earning his first win as a starter this season. Paulino has never faced the Giants in his career. He is 0-1 with an 8.01 ERA in two starts against the NL West this season, both coming against the Colorado Rockies.

Tidbits
Broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow will call Tuesday's game against the Florida Marlins for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area from the Loft at McCovey Cove, continuing their custom of setting up behind the microphone in exotic places. They also have broadcast games from Candlestick Park's left-field bleachers and, at AT&T Park, from the camera baskets, the right-field arcade and the Club Level seating area. ... The Giants signed right-hander Jason Stoffel, their fourth-round selection in last month's First-Year Player Draft. ... Outfielder John Bowker (.355, 16 home runs, 58 RBIs) and right-hander Kevin Pucetas (8-2, 3.17) will represent the Fresno Grizzlies on the Pacific Coast League All-Star team that will play their International League counterparts in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 15 in Portland, Ore.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NBC-11

On radio
• KNBR 680, KIQI (Español), KATD 990 (Sp.)

Up next
• Saturday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 8-2, 2.37) vs. Astros (Russ Ortiz, 3-3, 3.36), 1:05 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Giants (Randy Johnson, 8-5, 4.70) vs. Astros (Roy Oswalt, 4-4, 4.02), 1:05 p.m. PT
• Monday: Giants (Matt Cain, 9-2, 2.48) vs. Marlins (Sean West, 3-2, 4.06), 7:15 p.m. PT

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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