AT&T PARK — The Giants are on the road for most of June, so they better enjoy the home cooking while they can.
Tim Lincecum certainly did with seven innings scattering three hits and a run, walking one and striking out six as the Giants beat the Blue Jays 2-1.
Lincecum’s only run support was a two-run homer by Andres Torres in the second inning.
The only blemish by Lincecum was an impressive home run by Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the first, a titanic blast to center that stretched an estimated 440 feet off the roof of the concession stand.
Manager Bruce Bochy thinks Lincecum has pitched better than his numbers indicate:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy
Video: CSN Bay Area
“He’s been a hard one to figure out because he’s had great stuff. The big innings have hurt him and he stayed out of that and made pitches when he had to and this is something he can build on.”
The rest of the game was a pitcher’s duel. At one point, Lincecum retired 14 in a row and 18 of the final 20 batters faced:
Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum
Video: CSN Bay Area
“The thing I’ve been looking for the most this year is consistency. It’s not just one outing at a time, it’s multiple and taking the positives from every outing and just working forward. I haven’t done that this year so hopefully this is a stepping stone that I can take.”
In the fourth inning, Jose Bautista and Encarnacion hit deep drives to left field, but thanks to the heavy air, both resulted in fly outs.
Josh Johnson took the loss but was equally as good as Lincecum. He also went seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs, striking out six.
One sidenote to the game was the return of Melky Cabrera. Boos were evident but as he was announced in the starting lineup, it was an indifferent response. After his first at-bat the jeers were more noticeable and quite loud by his final at-bat in the ninth inning.
Cabrera finished with two hits. Bochy says players often are motivated to have good games against their former teams:
“Melky, he’s a good hitter. A lot of times, players that were either traded or go to another club, they seem to get up for the team they used to play with and he’s swung the bat very well against us.”
Jeremy Affeldt bridged the ninth for Sergio Romo who closed it out for his 16th save.
The Giants host the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon. Then it’s a long road trip to Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta — three of the better teams in the National League.
After that, the Orange and Black will be home a total of seven games in June, hoping to avoid the dreaded June swoon.
Wednesday, it’s Barry Zito (4-3, 3.88 ERA) vs. knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-7, 5.18). First pitch at 12:45 p.m.
The 2:16 game was the Giants shortest of the season. … This was the fourth quality start by Lincecum. … It was also back-to-back quality starts by Giants starters (Chad Gaudin on Sunday) since May 21 and 22 vs. Washington (Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner). … Buster Posey has hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games.