For Tim Lincecum, it turned out to be one step forward, eight steps back. Coming off his best start of the season, Lincecum was charged with a career-high eight runs, seven of them earned, in Tuesday's 9-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Lincecum last week had seemingly started to turn around his season of lows, throwing seven shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But he wilted early on a muggy, 94-degree night at Nationals Park, allowing nine hits in 3?1/3 innings while taking the loss for the ninth time in 17 starts.

"Coming here and dealing with the heat -- it got the better of me today," Lincecum said. "They made me work, and I paid for it. My stuff was just a little flat today, not as crisp."

Shortly after getting into the details of his latest loss, Lincecum turned his attention to his next start, Sunday's first-half finale in Pittsburgh.

"I'll just try to feed off whatever wins we get," he said, referring to the rest of the Giants' stellar rotation.