By Jeremy Kahn
August 30, 2013
PHOENIX-Tim Lincecum is a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, but if he pitches the rest of the way like his two last starts, he should be wearing Orange and Black next season.
Lincecum went seven innings, allowing zero runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out two on his way to his second consecutive win and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 before a crowd of 24,380 at Chase Field.
“Best I have had felt out there in a while,” said Lincecum, who threw 99 pitches on the evening.
The win was also special for Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan, who made his return to a major league diamond for the first time since May 25, when hit a walk-off two-run inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park against the Colorado Rockies.
In his first major league at-bat in 82 games, Pagan hit a double off of Diamondbacks starter Randall Delgado and then scored the only Giants run that they would need, as Brandon Belt hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Pagan from third base in the top of the first inning.
“I was going, I was going to challenge (A.J. Pollock),” said Pagan.
Despite taking the loss, Delgado pitched an admirable game, as he went seven innings, allowing one runs on just three hits, walking two and striking out three; however he saw his record fall to 4-5 on the season.
Paul Goldschmidt, who entered the game with a .529 clip in his career versus Lincecum was retired in his first at-bats, but finally got to Lincecum, as he hit a single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Following the Goldschmidt single, Martin Prado hit a single that sent Goldschmidt and immediately following the Prado single, Aaron Hill walked to load the bases.
After going 1-for-3 on the night, Goldschmidt is still hitting at .an .500 clip, as he is now 10-for-20 in his career versus the two-time Cy Young Award Winner.
Lincecum then struck out Miguel Montero on three consecutive pitches, and Pablo Sandoval saved the shutout, as he dove for an A.J. Pollock hit down the left field line, got up and threw to Belt for the final out of the inning.
“Ball down the line, looking at a crooked number,” said Bruce Bochy, “that was how we won the game.”
Marco Scutaro made an amazing play at second base, as Goldschmidt was running on the pitch, Scutaro was covering second and a ball hit by Prado was snared by Scutaro, who tagged second and threw to first to complete the double play.
Sandoval was forced to leave the game after being hit on the knee by a Brad Ziegler pitch in the top of the ninth inning and was replaced by Joaquin Arias at third base.
Sergio Romo came on in the bottom of the ninth inning, and shut the Diamondbacks down to pickup his 33rd save of the season.
Romo extends two different streaks at Chase Field, as he now completes 20.0-consecutive scoreless innings, tied for the second longest streak all-time by a visiting pitcher in the history of the ballpark (according to Stats LLC).
Also, Romo completed his 23rd consecutive inning of scoreless appearances at Chase Field, the longest such by any visiting pitcher at any ballpark since 1921 (according to Stats LLC).
NOTES: Ryan Vogelsong will take the ball in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon, while former Oakland A’s starter Trevor Cahill will toe the rubber for Kirk Gibson’s Diamondbacks.
Former Diamondbacks pitcher Yusmeiro Petit will face his former team on Sunday, while 13-game winner Patrick Corbin will head to the mound for the Diamondbacks.
To make room for Pagan, Francisco Peguero was optioned to Fresno and Andres Torres was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list after having surgery on his left Achilles.
With the victory, the Giants are now 5-10 following an off day this season, their first win after an off day since Chad Gaudin defeated the Diamondbacks on July 19 at AT&T Park.
The Giants have raised their record versus the National League West to 31-24, the best out of any team in the division.
When the game began at 6:40 (local time) it was a balmy 91 degrees outside of the ballpark, but a cool 78 degrees inside.