SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are keeping the pedal to the medal. Next stop, the National League West division title.
Xavier Nady, just activated off the disabled list, had two RBI singles and Marco Scutaro had three hits including a run scoring single. The Giants took a 5-0 lead Tuesday night and went on to beat the Rockies, 6-3. Their magic number is down to seven.
Tim Lincecum pitched 6-1/3 innings allowing five hits, no runs, only two walks and recorded six strikeouts. In his last ten outings since late July, Lincecum (10-14) has seven quality starts and four in a row.
By winning his 10th game, Lincecum became just the eighth pitcher in San Francisco franchise history to post double-digit wins in five straight seasons:
“I can’t really gauge my last ten starts or anything like that. I try to gauge it off the previous one. I never stopped working, never stopped trying to get better. I feel this one was better than the last.”
With this outing, Lincecum lowered his ERA to 4.91, the first time all season it’s been under 5.00:
“Just winning is all that really matters right now. We’re in September and every win, it matters. On a personal level I’d really like it to get better but if we come up with a win and come out on top that’s all I’m focusing on.”
In the second inning, catcher Hector Sanchez doubled and scored on a single to center by Nady. The Giants added another run in the third. On the first of his three hits, Scutaro singled to right. Pablo Sandoval doubled to right advancing Scutaro to third. Hunter Pence’s sac-fly made it a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, Pence led off with a walk. After Sanchez reached on a single to right, Nady singled to left making it a three run cushion.
Lincecum ran into trouble in the seventh when Colorado got two infield singles and a catcher’s interference by Sanchez allowing Tyler Colvin to reach base loaded the bases. Manager Bruce Bochy wisely decided to make a pitching change for Jeremy Affeldt.
With pinch hitter Jason Giambi up, Affeldt induced him on the first pitch to ground into an inning-ending double play. Giants manager Bruce Bochy appreciated that:
“Affeldt, what a job he did, he saved us there and you’ve got a good hitter up there with the bases loaded and he made a great pitch and the double play saved us. Jeremy picked us up and that’s what you need at that point. We got the ground ball we were looking for.”
In the eighth, the Rockies got back in the game when rookie catcher Wilin Rosario hit a blast to left center for his 25th home run. With that two-run homer, Rosario tied the franchise rookie record set by Todd Helton in 1998.
But the Giants would put the game away in the bottom of the eighth. Gregor Blanco hit a swinging bunt doubling down the left field line. Angel Pagan hit a soft liner to left over the head of Charlie Blackmon and it was off to the races for Pagan.
Pagan’s 14th triple of the season added to his SF-era franchise record for three baggers, having already passed Willie Mays:
“It’s a special moment for me you know. At least to get one more in front of (the fans), they’ve been really special to me, showing me a lot of support and I dedicate this to them.”