Lincecum ices D-Backs to energize Giants
AT&T PARK — Friday night’s Giants-Diamondbacks game had three things in common with the last Ice Age.
The weather was chilly, Tim Lincecum froze Arizona Diamondbacks at the plate and the Giants bats thawed right out of the gate, carrying them to a 5-0 win in Game 1 of the series.
Pablo Sandoval made a loud two-run statement in the first with his 11th home run of the season on an 0-1 cutter that was a couple feet away from taking a dip in McCovey Cove.
The homer raised the decibel level louder in AT&T Park than it’s been in a while as Sandoval rounded third and blew a kiss to the grateful fans.
Manager Bruce Bochy seemed relieved after the game to see Pablo’s blast:
“It was nice to see. I’m not gonna lie. To see a long ball from Pablo, it’s been a while I think from the left side. To get some early run support, it makes life easier.”
That two-run bomb was all Lincecum (W, 9-5, 3.66 ERA) needed as he baffled Diamondbacks hitters all night.
He had a devastating curveball-changeup combination going and only yielded three hits and two walks while striking out six and holding the opponent scoreless over seven innings.
“When I wanna go into a start like this, I’m just thinking about hitting my spots whether that be with the curveball, sliders, all my pitches really. I found that location is probably going to be [better] off than stuff. I know my stuff isn’t as great as it used to be, but I still try to think that way.”
Lincecum has been nearly invincible since his no-hitter. He has four wins in as many starts and has notched a 0.30 ERA (30-1/3 IP, 1 ER) during that span.
Sandoval added another in the fifth with an opposite-field liner that hugged the line. He finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs and felt the enjoyed his team’s performance after the game:
“We played good today. This is one of the things we were looking for the last couple of games, try to score in the first couple of innings. That’s what we did today in the first inning. When we score in the first couple of innings it’s better for the starting pitching overall.”
Scutaro talked about his back before Friday’s game:
“To be honest, my back is better, but it’s not the way it used to be a couple years ago.”
Scutaro did not play Friday night, but Bochy said he’d definitely start Saturday.
Diamondbacks starter Mike Bolsinger (L, 1-6, 5.50 ERA) took a beating for five innings. He gave up five earned runs on eight hits and looked just as confused on the mound as he did at the plate.
Sandoval’s home run was just the 15th in the last 31 games for the Giants since June 8. They hit 69 in their first 63 games from March 31 to June 7. … Tim Lincecum has thrown a career-high 27-consecutive scoreless innings at AT&T Park. That’s the longest streak since Ryan Jensen tossed 27 from April 10 to May 19, 2002. … The Giants 2014 first-round draft pick RHP Tyler Beede held a press conference prior to Friday night’s game and watched from the stands with his family.