The fans sitting down the right-field line cheered when Tim Lincecum warmed up in the bullpen. A much louder roar from 42059 fans serenaded him when he came out of the game in the sixth inning of what would be his seventh win.

The scene so familiar also could be fleeting.

The way the calendar and schedule align the Giants' 6-3 victory against the Pirates on Saturday night might have been Lincecum's third-to-last home start of the season.

Thus even if optimism has risen that Lincecum will return as a free agent fans who have remained so loyal to the man through his struggles should brace for the possibility that they might not be able to cheer for him much longer.

For what it is worth in this years-and-dollars game Lincecum said he will not ignore his relationship with the fans when he picks a team.

"I'll consider this organization as a whole and what it represents" he said. "It has a lot of familiarity with me as well as the fan base. That's been without saying for the last seven years. That will definitely play into the decision when the time comes."

Lincecum said he has not dwelled on the dwindling days of this season and where he might play in 2014 and beyond. Sergio Romo who saved Lincecum's win knows it might not be in San Francisco.

"To see there is a chance he could be playing for another team it's kind of like the (Brian) Wilson scenario" Romo said. "It's wanting to see my friend happy. It's wanting to see my friend with a spot at the table doing what he wants to do.

"If it happens to be in another uniform I wish him the best but all in all he's still a Giant and he's still one of my better teammates."

This game did not start auspiciously for Lincecum. He threw 10 pitches to Jose Tabata who singled. But he escaped with an Andrew McCutchen double play.

Something odd then happened. The Giants erupted for four first-inning runs against 14-game winner Francisco Liriano the former San Francisco prospect who had not allowed four runs over 15 of his first 19 starts this year.