Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Lincecum, Giants roughed up by Reds

San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum looks to the outfield as the Cincinnati's Jay Bruce, left, rounds the bases following a solo home run during the third inning of the Reds' 11-0 win over the Giants. AP photo

SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Lincecum had hoped his first career no-hitter would propel him to a strong start in the second half with the reigning World Series champions.

Nine days after being at his absolute best, the San Francisco right-hander looked like a completely different pitcher.

Lincecum (5-10) allowed three home runs to match the most of his career and lasted only 3 2/3 innings for his shortest outing of the year in the Giants’ 11-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

He trailed 3-0 after a 31-pitch first inning.

“They didn’t miss any mistakes off him,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “I do think the first inning took a toll on him. You’re so close to getting out of it and I’m sure that was deflating for him.”

Lincecum insisted the 148 pitches he made in the no-hitter July 13 at San Diego had no lingering effect — though he threw just once between starts.

“I don’t think it’s tough,” Lincecum said. “It’s something we’ve dealt with before so you just have to be prepared for it and know that you’re going to get those days off to give yourself that rest and come back strong, but I didn’t (Monday).”

Bronson Arroyo thoroughly outpitched Lincecum, tossing a seven-hitter for his sixth career shutout, first regular-season victory in San Francisco and No. 100 with the Reds.

Arroyo (9-7) struck out six and didn’t walk a batter in his 15th career complete game, a 108-pitch gem that ended in 2 hours, 45 minutes. He had run support, and then some.

Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo homered in the second inning off Lincecum. Jay Bruce also hit a solo homer, Todd Frazier added a three-run double and Derrick Robinson, a late addition to the lineup, had three hits.

The Reds had nine extra-base hits among their 17.

“I couldn’t have ordered it up any better than that,” said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker.

Robinson also provided the defensive highlight. Jeff Francoeur’s two-out fly to center in the ninth appeared destined for the other side of the fence, and even Arroyo thought his shutout was gone. Robinson instead made a leaping grab after the ball initially popped out of his glove.

Lincecum received a rousing ovation during pregame introductions, then immediately struggled while pitching on eight days’ rest after tossing the 15th no-hitter in franchise history and seventh since the club moved West in 1958.

“I felt fine. I just feel like after that (first inning) you have to settle down and make better pitches,” Lincecum said. “I left a lot of pitches up in the zone and they continued to tally up runs off us.”

Lincecum allowed three home runs for the third time. He was tagged for a career-high eight earned runs and nine hits, hardly the way he wanted to come out after his gem at Petco Park.

The Giants were handed their most lopsided shutout loss since getting beaten 11-0 by Arizona on Aug. 27, 2009.

“Honestly, it’s a little bit embarrassing,” said Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. “It’s something we definitely want to change. We can stop it right now and go out and win a couple of ballgames and be right back in it.”

Cincinnati denied Bochy his 1,500th career victory as a manager. He is trying to become the 21st skipper to reach the milestone. Detroit’s Jim Leyland and Baker are the only active managers with more victories.

Cincinnati opened an 11-game West Coast trip that takes the Reds to all three California NL West cities with an emphatic win against the defending champions. San Francisco rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the NL division series last fall to stun the Reds — becoming the first team in major league history to come back from three games down in a best-of-five series with three straight road wins.

“The bats came alive as good as they have all year,” Arroyo said.

The teams will play a traditional doubleheader Tuesday in which the Reds will wear their Sunday home uniforms — white pants with red tops — as the visiting team and bat last in the nightcap, a makeup for a July 4 rainout at Great American Ball Park.

San Francisco is winless in four games against the Reds this season, getting outscored 25-3.

Notes: Lincecum has allowed 16 runs in the first inning this year. … The Giants will call up left-hander Eric Surkamp to pitch Tuesday’s opener, his first start in the big leagues since Sept. 28, 2011, after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is from Cincinnati. … Baker improved to 17-14 as a visiting manager at AT&T Park (7-6 with the Cubs, 10-8 for the Reds). He departed as Giants skipper following an NL pennant in 2002. … Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong, who begins a rehab assignment Tuesday in the Arizona Rookie League after breaking bones in his right pinkie on May 20, turned 36. … San Francisco reliever George Kontos threw a career-high 63 pitches in 3 1/3 innings.

The Associated Press

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