Lincecum dazzles as Giants edge AthleticsJun 29, 2008 - 5:32 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Bay Bridge Series has been rather one-sided of late, but the San Francisco Giants had their stopper on the mound to end their seven-game losing streak against the rival Oakland Athletics.
Tim Lincecum worked seven overpowering innings to lead the Giants to a 1-0 victory over the Athletics on Saturday night.
"That's the whole mind-set, no one wants to give up a run even if we're winning 9-0," Lincecum said. "We still want to grind it out and keep the score low. Both teams were battling out there to squeak any runs and we managed to put up the first and only run of the game so that was just big. A win is a win no matter how close it is."
Lincecum (9-1) allowed only five hits while notching 11 strikeouts for San Francisco's fifth win during interleague play.
The young ace improved to 8-0 in 12 starts following Giants losses.
"That's big, I'm not consciously thinking about it as far as because we lose, I need to pick myself up and really come out there and grind it out," Lincecum said. "I'm coming out there with the same pressure that I put on myself any day. Come out, give our team a chance to win and that's what I'm going out there every time."
"He has been (our stopper)," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've had a tough time against this club, especially scoring runs, and we needed somebody to go out there and put zeroes on the board and he did it. He's been the guy that has stopped the little losing streaks and Timmy's special. He's one of the best pitchers in the game and he showed it tonight."
Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer (8-5) also had an impressive outing, going seven innings and allowing only one run on two hits. Duchscherer was saddled with the loss, his first defeat at home.
"It's one of those games that you hope to win when you throw a game like that," Duchscherer said. "You just have to tip your hat to the other guy. I felt good coming into the game and I thought I made some good quality pitches. I tried to throw a subtraction fastball, a two-seamer, and he hits a double that put us in a bad position. We did a great job on defense to limit the damage to one run."
The Athletics had the tying run at second in the ninth but Giants closer Brian Wilson got Mark Ellis to ground out to end the game.
"The series is 1-1 and we've got a little momentum going into tomorrow," Wilson said. "Play a day game, you try to take the series from them and then go back home and start from there so it's a huge lift beating them today especially with the kind of ball we played today. ... The only thing I want to do is keep winning, keep getting the opportunities."
Lincecum worked out of an early jam in the first inning. After a four-pitch walk to leadoff batter Ellis and a single to left by Kurt Suzuki put runners the corners with nobody out, Lincecum got Jack Cust to strike out and then induced Bobby Crosby to ground into an around-the-horn double play to end the inning.
In the second inning, Lincecum allowed a single to Jack Hannahan before striking out the side. In the third, the flame-throwing righty again was in a jam with runners at the corners. But he got Cust to strike out looking on a sharp breaking curveball and retired Crosby on a grounded to first.
Duchscherer, who entered the game leading the American League in ERA, retired the first nine batters, including a line smash off the bat of Jose Castillo that Duchscherer fielded. The ball was hit so hard that Duchscherer landed on the seat of his pants.
"As a starting pitcher my goal is to go deep in the game, and I know people say this all the time, but it's true, give the team a chance to win," Duchscherer said. "I like to make hitters earn it. My one walk, no one on base, I made a bad pitch on 3-2 after the guy fouled off a bunch of pitches. I try not to put them on for free."
The Giants finally got their first hit of the game in the top of the fourth on a broken-bat single to left by Fred Lewis. Ray Durham followed with a hard-hit double off the right field wall to put runners at second and third with nobody out.
Randy Winn grounded to first but Daric Barton booted it for his league-leading eighth error of the season, allowing Lewis to score and Durham to move up 90 feet. Duchscherer eventually got Aaron Rowand to ground into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play.
"We didn't really hit well but we're able to pull out the victory," Winn said. "We got two hits and then situational hitting with the infield back. I was trying to hit a ground ball to get the guy in and we made that run stand up."
The A's had their best opportunity in the bottom of the fifth when former Giant Rajai Davis singled to left. Catcher Bengie Molina threw the ball to first trying to nail Davis, but Molina guessed wrong because Davis was running on the throw and easily stole second base. Davis advanced to third on a groundout but Ellis popped out and Suzuki grounded out to end the threat.
Lincecum racked up nine strikeouts in six innings. He finished his night with a flourish, throwing 116 pitches and getting Ellis with a breaking ball in the dirt for his 11th and final strikeout.
"The key for me, even though I was pitching in trouble, I found myself in a good rhythm all game no matter what was going on," Lincecum said. "I felt like I had all my pitches going after the first inning and I was able to throw them in a lot of different counts when I wanted to. I let a couple of guys get away from me with those three walks but other than that I felt like I did a pretty good job."
Oakland had another golden chance in the eighth against reliever Tyler Walker. Suzuki doubled to left and Cust followed with an infield single put runners at first and second with no outs. But Crosby popped out on a bunt. Carlos Gonzalez nearly had a two-run double but Winn managed to track the ball down in front of the right field wall and Emil Brown struck out swinging.
"It's been a couple of years since I was asked to sacrifice but it's nothing new," Crosby said. "I'm more comfortable treating it like a drag bunt. Normally I can get it into play. I wasn't trying for a hit. The ball was down and inside of dropping my knees, I dropped the bat head."
It was the Giants' first win against the A's since May 20 of last season, when Matt Morris defeated the late Joe Kennedy.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: SFO - TIM LINCECUM, TYLER WALKER (8TH), BRIAN WILSON (9TH) AND
OAK - JUSTIN DUCHSCHERER, KEITH FOULKE (9TH) AND KURT
HOME RUNS: SFO - NONE
Jun 28 11:38 PM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
ERROR BY DARIC BARTON ALLOWED FRED LEWIS TO SCORE.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R WINN ON FIRST, R DURHAM ON THIRD, 0 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: SAN FRANCISCO 1
OAKLAND 0 TOP, 4TH
DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: B MOLINA (.311, 0-FOR-1)
Giants 1, Athletics 0 Top 4, 0 OutsJun 28 10:05 PM
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